Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Warning Flags that You Need Foundation Repair

Ensuring the stability and soundness of your home’s foundation is critical for the safety of your property and your family.  Certain climates, like that found in Texas, foster conditions that can threaten the stability of your foundation. If you want to catch the warning flags early that signal the need for foundation repair in Houston, read the following information.

Understanding Climatic Effects on Foundations

When construction workers lay a foundation down, they are building on top of smoothed soil. The stability of the foundation relies, in great measure, on the stability of the soil beneath. Soil can fluctuate according to certain weather conditions; for example, soils can absorb water during seasons of rain and other precipitation, and thus expand. On the other hand, during dry months, they lose the moisture they have been retaining, and shrink. The constant cycle of expansion and contraction is not good for the home, as the foundation shifts and even cracks, causing the home to unsettle and shift and even crumble.

Look Out for Dangerous Cracks and Stuck Doors

Some cracking in foundations is normal; the steel and concrete used in foundations enables the structure to remain together in spite of small cracks. However, thick and long-running cracks can signal bigger problems. If you find cracks elsewhere on your home, especially stair-step-like cracks along brick masonry lines, horizontal cracks along the foundation, or above doors and windows (especially on the second floor), you may have a serious foundational problem.  You can also check your house in other ways. Look out for cracks inside your home, along concrete floors, and in the drywall and sheetrock. Check the space below your home (known as the crawl space) for moisture; if the ground is arid and cracking, or too musty, you may have not enough moisture (or too much) for your foundation to remain stable.  Doors and windows that stick or don’t close properly because of gaps can also indicate that the house is shifting. If you see these telltale signs, contact an expert in foundation repair Houston immediately.

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