Houston is literally a city on the move. The clay soil under most homes in our area expands when wet and shrinks when dry. This “plasticity” means your home goes along for a ride that typically leads to foundation repair.
Soil plasticity is best demonstrated with the ball test: Scoop up and form a ball of soil. If you can toss it from hand to hand without it breaking, you have clay soil with high plasticity. Moisture management with this kind of soil is critical to the wellbeing of your foundation.
Foundation repair good news and bad news
Perimeter foundation repair projects are fairly straight-forward, according to Du-West Foundation Repair’s Kenny Dutton. These projects can often be completed in a day or two with all the work done outside your home. That’s the good news.
Foundation Repair under the center of your home, on the other hand, means making a choice between jackhammering holes in your floor, or tunneling to the area needing repair. Tunneling is better.
Advantages of foundation repair tunneling
“Jack hammering holes in a slab to repair it makes as much sense as cutting a hole in the hood of your car to work on the transmission,” Kenny says.
Instead of weakening your slab with numerous repair holes, foundation repair tunneling minimizes disruption to your daily life while also providing access to plumbing—a common cause of foundation problems.
Another root cause of foundation repairs
Trees give shade, but guzzle moisture. A tree can suck up anywhere from 50 to 200 gallons of moisture from your soil daily.
But, before taking an axe to your trees, keep this in mind: if it was there before your home, a tree is part of the moisture balance of your property. Removing it can potentially cause heaving when the moisture balance changes.
Get the advice of foundation repair experts before making any decisions about your trees. An often betters solution than remove are root barriers which allow trees to prosper with less risk of possible foundation repair issues.
Does your property make the grade?
Soil around your foundation should slope away from the house at least 1 inch per foot for 6 feet or more. In the case of beds along the foundation, make sure their grading doesn’t keep water from draining away.
Managing moisture around your home is the best defense against foundation repair. When in doubt, check with a foundation repair professional like our trusted friends at Du-West Foundation Repair.