Here in Texas with our long, hot, dry summers, most people know that drought conditions can damage foundations. The dry soil and clay shrinks out from under your home removing the foundation’s proper support.
But actually, ground moisture is a double edged sword. While too little water content in the soil around your home can be hazardous, too MUCH water can be harmful too. Especially if surface water pools in only one or two areas around your home. As the dirt and clay begins to adsorb the water it begins to expand causing your foundation to heave, or rise above it’s proper level. If the clay doesn’t expand evenly around the perimeter of your house, the rising during wet periods and the settling during dry spots causes undue stress on the foundation as it goes above and below its normal position.
Furthermore, plumbing leaks beneath your home can also cause the same problem. Even a leak slow enough not to notice on your water bill can be more than enough to damage your foundation. In addition to the normal seasonal damage we see from Texas summers, we frequently see homes with problems due to plumbing leaks both in and out of season.
Therefore we advise you ensure your home has proper drainage, where no water pools around the foundation for at least 6 to 10 feet, and your gutters drain onto splash blocks which moves runoff away from your foundation and helps control unsightly erosion. We also recommend that you have your plumbing checked regularly to catch any leaks as early as possible.
Remember, it’s infinitely easier and less costly to maintain your drainage, plumbing, and foundation now, than to wait until you have problems.
Think you may have a Foundation Problem?, Call us 817-469-1090 For Your Free Evaluation
Crawl Space Ventilation is very important to making sure that your pier and beam foundation stays dry. If all of the soil beneath the foundation swells uniformly or shrinks uniformly, it is unlikely to cause a problem. But when only part of the foundation heaves or settles, differential movement causes cracks, wood rot and other damage to an understructure. The right amount of hydration is very important.
One of the best ways to ensure that the moisture content under your pier and beam foundation stays consistent is by checking the efficiency of your vents. These vents allow outside air to circulate through the understructure to prevent the moisture buildup. Another alternative to promote adequate crawl space ventilation is by installing a humidistat fan. It will monitor the moisture and temperature levels under your house and keep the levels consistent to be in order to prevent foundation movement.
If you think that your foundation is moving or has ventilation issues, MBRGFR.com inspects both slab and pier and beam foundations. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at our office (817) 469-1090