When shopping for a home most buyers look at things like how many bedrooms and how big is the kitchen and many times forget to check on the most important part of a house. The foundation. Thanks to a unique soil structure and seasonal cycles Texas foundations are particularly susceptible to damage. Here is what you need you should know about your home’s foundation.
First, let’s go over the different types of foundations…
This is the most common type of foundation used in Texas. A slab foundation is just what it sounds like, it’s a large slab of concrete usually 4 to 5 inches thick. It also has beams of thicker concrete where load-bearing walls sit. They are also reinforced with steel known as rebar.
You will almost never find this kind of foundation in Texas because the soil just won’t allow it. However, they are common in many other parts of the country. They are typically about 8 ft deep and have many benefits. Obviously they add additional square footage but also provide natural ventilation for hot summer.
3.Crawl Space Foundation
These foundations are great for areas that tend to flood since they generally are elevated above ground level. This allows some water to flow underneath the house which prevents the water from damaging essential components of the house. This foundation is composed of a concrete perimeter as well as concrete beams under load-bearing walls. There are also piers supporting the floor joists, which hold up the floor.
The pier foundation has many of the same benefits as the crawl space foundation. They are constructed of strategically placed concrete cylinders that support the weight of the house. These are great for homes with high groundwater levels.
No matter what type of foundation you have they can be damaged and repairs on your foundation can often be very expensive. However, there are some things that you can do to if not prevent at least limit the damage that can occur over time.
1. Maintain consistent water levels around the house.
This is important especially during the summer to not let the soil around the house get too dry or too wet. So on hot days, it’s a good idea to run sprinkler. Also, check around the house for any leaking water that could saturate the soil.
2. Keep your plants away from the house.
Large trees and bushes can cause some serious problems around the house. The roots from these plants can grow up under the house and cause cracking in the foundation as well as serious damage to plumbing.
3. Make sure water flows away from the house.
It’s important to make sure the soil around your house is sloped away from your house. Otherwise, you will have sitting water that can cause shifting in your foundation.
Finally, if you see any signs of foundation damage be sure to call a reputable foundation company to take care of the issue before it causes additional damage.