Have you ever visited a home where you could tell that a room was somehow off kilter? Floors appeared to slope. Cracks marred the walls. Doors did not open and windows were stuck shut. There is no reason to wait for these signs of upheaval to occur. When you get a foundation inspection today, you can avoid a broad range of residential foundation problems, costly repairs and extended damage to the structure.
Why is a Foundation Susceptible to Damage?
Your home’s foundation supports the structure that is built on top of it. Since it is in constant contact with the surrounding soil, its overall stability depends on the consistency of the substrate. Unfortunately, for the majority of Texas residents, the substrate right underneath our homes usually features a high clay content, which results in a repetitive cycle of soil expansion and contraction.
Recent drought problems have led to excessive soil shrinkage, which can result in foundation failure. In areas where rain has been abundant, rapid and prolonged soil expansion has led to lifting of foundations. Even in areas where the weather has been relatively stable, homeowners can experience foundation problems due to irrigation, drainage and landscaping problems.
Know When to Call a Professional for a Foundation Inspection
There are some signs of foundation-related problems that are clearly visible to the naked eye. Our experts recommend that a homeowner commits to undertaking a regular inspection of the structure.
- Look for standing water. If you have standing water around your home, you may be at risk of developing foundation trouble. Standing water is a sign of excessive irrigation, improper drainage or a plumbing problem.
- Inspect the structure for cracks. Do you see some cracks in the walls of your home? Do they seem to get wider at times? At other times, do they appear to shrink? This is indicative of shifts in the soil’s water content, which are affecting the integrity of the foundation.
- Sniff out musty smells. Visit your basement or shimmy down into the crawl space. Does it smell musty? Remember that there is difference between the stale smell of not having a room aired out and the scent that hints of mildew. The latter depends on moisture and leads to that typical musty smell.
When you notice any of these warning signs, it is time to call in the professionals for an expert look.
What Do We Look At?
When you call us for an expert foundation inspection, we assume that there might be a problem that has caused you some concern. Our experts start their inspection on the exterior of the home rather than in the basement or crawl space.
- Trees. How many trees are close to your home? Since they each soak up between 30 gallons and 50 gallons of water per day, we know to look for issues relating to dry soil.
- Sprinklers. We may ask you to run your sprinkler system. This shows us whether the runoff and drainage are in order.
- Grading. Our technicians evaluate the grading of the property. Does water run toward your home or away from it? Is this true around the property or is one side improperly graded?
- Soil survey. We look at the clay content of your soil. Our experts also pay close attention to the overall moisture content of the substrate.
- Crack inventory. Next, we inventory the visible cracks around your property. We catalog vertical and horizontal cracks. On the interior, we inspect walls above doorways where the ceiling and wall connect. Floor tile cracks, too, get inventoried. In some settings, we also inspect walls with a level to look for structural changes.
When there is no problem, we tell you. In fact, we may be able to point out some maintenance issues you can easily take care of yourself to prevent foundation problems from occurring. If we do notice areas of distress and have verified that the foundation has been heaving or cracking, we point out the work that needs to be done to prevent additional damage to the structure.
At Perma-Pier Foundation Repair, we do not just handle the cosmetic repairs to your walls but also focus on preventing a recurrence by going straight to the source of the problem: your foundation. Contact us today to schedule your professional foundation inspection.