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Foundation Shifting in Texas: A homeowner's guide

Foundation shifting is a common problem in Texas that many homeowners face because of the Texas heat. It can lead to various issues such as cracks in the walls, uneven floors, and doors that don't close properly. In this article, we will discuss signs of foundation shifting and what you can do to fix them.

Cracks in the walls

  • Horizontal cracks: Cracks on walls indicate foundation movement and people usually see them in the middle or upper sections. They are usually wider at the ends and narrower in the middle. Horizontal cracks that are wider than 1/4 inch are a red flag.

  • Vertical cracks: These cracks can appear from the floor to the ceiling and are often a result of foundation settling. They can be wider at the bottom and narrower at the top.

  • Stair-step cracks: These cracks resemble a staircase and typically occur in brick or concrete block walls. They are a clear indication of foundation movement.

Pop Quiz: What kind of foundation crack is pictured above?

If you said this picture resembles a stair-case crack, you are correct!

Uneven floors

  • Sloping floors: If you notice that your floors are not level, it could be a sign of foundation shifting. You may feel like you are walking uphill or downhill in certain areas of your home that may be unstable.

  • Bouncy or sagging floors: Foundation shifting can cause the floors to become weak and unstable. If you feel a bounce or sag when walking on your floors, it's time to investigate further.

Doors and windows that don't close properly

  • Sticking Doors: If your doors suddenly start sticking or become difficult to close, foundation shifting could be causing it. This is because the door frames may become misaligned.

  • Windows: Foundation shifting can also affect windows, causing them to not open or close, just like doors. If your windows don't open or close smoothly, it possible that there's a problem with your foundation.

  • Cabinets and Countertops: If your cabinets and countertops move away from the wall, it may be the foundation shifting.

Preventative Measures:

  1. Proper Drainage: Ensuring proper drainage around your home is crucial. Poor drainage can lead to excessive water collecting near the foundation, which could lead to increased soil expansion.

  2. Maintain Consistent Moisture Levels: Keep the moisture levels around your foundation as consistent as possible. You can place a soaker hose around the perimeter to maintain a steady moisture balance.

  3. Install a Root Barrier: Plant roots can draw moisture from the soil. Installing a root barrier can help prevent this.

  4. Regular Foundation Maintenance: Schedule annual home inspections with a professional to catch any potential issues early.

Consult Green Scene Home Inspections to find the issues and solutions for the foundation of your home. Neglecting foundation problems is a serious issue and can result in additional harm and expensive restoration work in the future.

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