If you live in Texas, you schedule more foundation crack repairs than anywhere else in the country. One of the reasons for this is due to the expansive clay soil. While clay soil is great for farms and ranches, it wreaks havoc on your concrete foundation. Extreme weather conditions, like hurricanes, tornadoes, and freezing rain, cause changes in your soil. If the water doesn’t drain properly, it damages your foundation, causing cracks.
What Is a Foundation and Why Is It Important?
A foundation sits between your home and the ground, making it the lowest part of your home. It distributes your home’s weight evenly to the soil, and it must be strong enough to support the weight of the building. Click here for more information about foundation crack repair in Texas.
Your home’s foundation has many jobs, the most crucial being to keep your family safe from outside elements, including rain, snow, and hail. It is your home support keeping it from sinking into the ground, resulting in cracks and damage to your home. It resists movement from changing soil moisture, temperature fluctuations, and tectonic plate movement.
Foundations insulate your home against the extreme heat in Texas. A basement free of cracks can keep your house cool and comfortable throughout the entire year, potentially saving you hundreds on energy costs. A Crack-free foundation provides a barrier between your home and bugs and insects. Since Texas has more than its fair share of insects and pests, it’s critical to repair your foundation cracks quickly.
One of the most important jobs of a foundation is to keep moisture from getting in. Moisture can quickly weaken and compromise your home’s structure. When water collects around your home, it goes into your soil, causing it to expand. If the soil expansion and shifting of the foundation put enough pressure on the foundation, it can cause cracks.
Foundation Cracks and DIY Repairs
Many people worry about the cost of repairing foundation cracks and will try to do it themselves; not only is this a bad idea because it’s unsafe, but it can also end up costing you much more in the long run. Repairing a foundation crack isn’t the same as installing a new sink or caulking around the edge of a bathtub. These cracks take different materials and methods that aren’t readily available to the general public.
If you don’t have the money available to pay for the costs, you have many options available such as:
- Credit cards
- Government or state programs
- Lending programs through the foundation repair company
If you have any questions or need help affording the repairs, our Texas foundation crack repair professionals can talk to you about the process and provide you with an estimate.
Common Foundation Cracks
Hairline cracks are the most common, and it’s usually only visible from the inside of your foundation. In Texas, the primary cause of the hairline cracks is the seasonal temperature changes that affect the soil around our homes, causing it to expand and contract against the foundation walls.
These cracks are most common in newly constructed homes, appear within the first two years after construction, and are caused by foundation settling. These cracks usually run vertically or at a slight angle (less than 90 degrees).
Tip: watch this crack to make sure it doesn’t leak water. If you notice that it starts leaking, call a foundation crack repair company in TX.
Vertical or diagonal cracks
These cracks are less severe than horizontal or stair-step cracks and don’t pose a structural threat. They are most often found in poured concrete foundations and run straight up and down your wall or at an angle. In Texas, these are one of the most common types. Like hairline cracks, they are caused by foundation settling over time or due to concrete drying and curing.
Tip: While not considered a structural issue, you should still call your local foundation crack repair professional to have it evaluated.
These cracks typically indicate a severe problem caused by hydrostatic pressure from outside the foundation walls, which can lead to structural damage to your foundation. While most foundations are designed to withstand the pressure of water and soil, additional pressure from extreme weather or flooding can create horizontal cracks.
Tip: Call a foundation crack repair expert in Texas to get opinions and options as soon as possible. Professionals can permanently repair these cracks and help make your home structurally sound again.
Warning Signs of Foundation Problems
We’ve gone over the different types of foundation cracks that need to be repaired, but there are other signs that you have foundation issues. If you see any of the signs listed below, call a foundation repair specialist as soon as possible.
- Exterior cracks – we went over these above; however, it doesn’t hurt to touch on them again. Stair step cracks in brick or block foundations are a sign of foundation issues and the ones we went over.
- Interior sheetrock crackers are found in the exterior of your home and are zig-zagged and run nearly the entire length of the wall.
- Doors and windows are sticking, challenging to open, or uneven floors – if you have doors or windows out of square and with cracks above them, they should be looked at. If you have irregular or bouncy floors, it could indicate foundation issues that need to be repaired.
- Rotten wood, pier & beams – Pier & beam foundation is one of the most common foundations in Texas, so it’s essential to know the sign of rotted wood. The humidity of the basement or crawlspace can be too high; extreme weather, termites, or carpenter ants are all signs you need to call a professional ASAP.
Do I Need To Call A Foundation Crack Repair Expert In Texas
Indications you should call someone immediately.
- Water seeps in through the foundation cracks and into your basement or crawlspace.
- Bricks or blocks displaced or appear to be pushed in or out from the wall
- Any cracks that are ⅛ inch wide or larger.
- If cracks are getting wider or longer, you need to call your local foundation repair company to inspect the crack.
- Suppose the foundation wall is pushing inward or outward. This is a severe issue that can lead to structural failure of the foundation and possibly cause your home to collapse.
When it can wait
Hairline cracks and small vertical cracks usually don’t require immediate attention. However, while you don’t have to do anything immediately to fix them, you must continue to water them and monitor their growth. Cracks can change over time, and the best way to track them is by taking measurements and pictures every six months.