There’s no other place in the country that can claim more foundation issues than Texas. According to foundation repair company Perma-Pier, the problem is so vast that experts come here to learn how to repair the most serious problems. Have you ever wondered why problems with foundations are so common here? The answers might surprise you.
Our Fickle Climate
If you think our weather seems to bounce between extremes, you’re not wrong. We can experience years of massive droughts and extremely hot summers, and torrential rains and flooding in the spring and fall. Sudden erosion from flooding can certainly cause problems. Prolonged drought can cause problems, too. For instance, drought causes trees to develop root systems that will help guarantee their survival, but those roots can cause big problems for foundations.
The Question of Soil
You’ve probably heard about the expansive clay soil around here. It’s great for farms and ranches, but it’s a big headache for builders. Clay soil expands when it’s wet and contracts as it dries. Because of our weather extremes, that can mean quite a bit of movement from season to season. All of that movement could be dealt with if it happened evenly across a property. Unfortunately for Texas homeowners, evaporation from the soil varies depending on the amount of sun or shade an area gets. Add to that the fact that the moisture content of the soil under the center of your house is generally higher than the surrounding soil during periods of drought and lower during the wet seasons. And let’s not forget those trees we mentioned earlier. Roots will dry out some areas more than others, causing more instability.
All of this expanding and contracting at different rates can create pockets under your house without support. It can also create soil heaving in other spots. It’s these opposing forces that crack foundations.
The pressure of population
The good news is that Texas is a big place, and there are plenty of places in the state that have much lower concentrations of clay in the soil. The bad news is that most of us don’t live there. Ironically, the worst soil for buildings is right under the feet of our biggest population centers in Dallas/Ft Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. So when you hear about Texas being the center of the foundation repair world, you might understand why. There are a whole lot of people living on top of very challenging soil.
Fortunately, the experts in the foundation repair industry know how to stabilize properties with remarkable success. If you do find yourself in need of repair, you can rest assured that there are people around who know how to handle the problem. Do use caution and find a reputable company with references and longevity in the industry. Ask your Realtor for referrals if you need some advice.