Everyone fears a hurricane’s gale force winds and flash flooding rains. When a these natural disasters happen, Texans can see the damage. What about the damage that goes unseen? Often this is the bigger enemy to the average home. Fall flooding and soggy soil can slowly, but surely, damage a Texas home’s foundation. This may happen over years with each passing flood and many lesser rains. Unfortunately, it can also happen suddenly with enough flooding.
Homes on Flat Grounds
Texas homes tend to be on flat ground, and the water has nowhere to go. It can stand in one place, puddling above ground. However, it can also seep away and puddle underground. This is more dangerous to the house foundation because it means that there is a gap within the ground itself. As the sink hole forms, gravity starts to pull the ground above downward. This is gradual and the force is just enough to unsettle even the best homes.
Sandy and Soggy Soils
Texas is made up of many regions, but it’s safe to say that most Texas homes are built on a soil that does not hold moisture well. Aridisol, a common Texas soil type, is dry and sandy. This does not hold water well. As a result, water can cause a disturbance underground leaving the house above to sink and settle. Another common Texas soil type, vertisol, contains clay. In Texas, this is often recognizable in to its black or red form. The clay composition means that it can absorb quantities of water, growing as it does so. Then it can dry out, shrinking and cracking as it does so. Again a house built with enough vertisol in the soil is not on truly solid ground. Clay is often the subsoil and it is not always visible to someone walking the grounds. It exists below several layers of better dirt, but the clay is still there, shrinking and swelling with every rain.
Pay Attention to the Signs
Getting to the foundation before it actually sinks is always a good idea. The key is to spot the tell-tale signs before the foundation sinks enough to become troublesome. The doors and the windows often tell the story before the floor starts to sink or wall cracks start to appear. Doors that suddenly seem like they don’t hang right may be a signal that the house is shifting. The door frame isn’t quite right anymore and the door is indicating it.
Know When to Bring in the Pros
If a Texas home is subject to constant flooding, even for a short period of time, it is a good idea to have a foundation inspection. Home owners can’t always recognize the signs, but an expert can locate any trouble spots. An expert has the equipment to check for sink holes, soil composition, and other indications of trouble. A home is often the family’s biggest investment. Assessing it for damage regularly should also include a check on the foundation. After all, if the foundation sinks, the interior damage can be catastrophic. Then the home’s value will sink catastrophically as well. It’s just smarter and more forward-thinking to assess regular after fall flooding.
Peter Wendt, native Texan and blogger, found that recent flash flooding had caused his home’s foundation to need repairs. He contacted this foundation company in San Antonio for help.