Spotting and Repairing Problems with the Foundation of a House

Problems with the foundation of a house can be obvious, but often, the symptoms start out seeming like fairly minor annoyances. Doors don’t want to stay in the position they were put in, pictures tilt no matter how many times they’re straightened, and small cracks appear in the mortar of bricks. These and other problems are often dismissed as “the house getting old” or with comments about the original construction quality, but in reality, they’re signs that the structure is no longer sitting straight – and this happens because the foundation it’s resting on is no longer straight either.

Things that Should Stay Put Keep Moving on Their Own

This is one of the easiest signs to miss because the results, at first, are merely annoying. A doorstop only costs about $1, so it’s tempting to go to the hardware store, get one, stick it under the door, and then forget about it. The problem is that doors aren’t supposed to swing on their own unless they actually have a mechanism intended to make that happen. Such mechanisms are common in stores, but are almost unheard-of in houses. Therefore, if your doors won’t stay in the position you put them, it’s time to think about what could be making them move.

Of course, doors don’t always move because the house has tilted. Breezes, pets walking through unnoticed, and other minor causes should be checked for before you call for foundation repair. If nothing like that is found, though, it’s time to suspect that the house itself is tilted.

Loosely-hung pictures can also highlight a tilted house. If you find that you have to keep straightening the frames even though no one is messing with them, gravity is at work. The problem is that the true downward position is not parallel to the floor. Over several hours or days, the picture will adjust itself accordingly and will then look crooked because it’s out of synch with how the structure looks.

Cracks in the Masonry

When cracks develop in the mortar of old masonry, it’s easy to write it off as the result of the natural aging and breakdown of the mortar itself. While this can be the case, it is also likely that the foundation of the house has shifted and put strain on that part of the structure. As part of the house stays with the foundation and another part doesn’t, the mortar cracks.

If the crack is through the bricks or blocks themselves, it’s an even surer sign of foundation troubles. These components are strong, so it takes a lot of force to break them. This sort of force occurs when structural elements are at odds with each other.

What Can be Done About Foundation Problems?

Here at Perma-Pier Foundation Repair, we use a variety of methods that are specifically tailored to provide permanent repairs to houses that have been damaged by problematic Texas soils. The biggest source of problems is the shifting of the ground that is being caused by the ongoing drought. Drought causes soil to shrink, and as it does so, it no longer provides the proper support for foundations built during wetter times.

As our name implies, we strongly prefer to use pier systems to repair foundations under these conditions. Piers run deep into the soil to provide strong anchor points that are resistant to shifting even as the upper layers of soil move around them. Once a house is placed on piers, its foundation will be safe for years to come.

To learn more about our pier systems and the other options we offer, just contact us. We’ll be glad to explain everything. We’ll also be glad to come out to your property and tell you exactly what we would do to fix your foundation troubles so your house will be solid once again.

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