Yo…follow me…you own your first home (second, third, whatever), you’re relaxing with a glass of white wine 🍷(this REALTOR fav), feet on the coffee table…relaxation at its finest 😎, you look up and see a crack in the ceiling. Is your home falling apart, is it sinking, is the ceiling going to collapse and ruin this perfect night, what is going on? Don’t panic…well not just yet. Cracks in your home could be the cause of normal settling or it could be cause for great concern.
Texas has the a variety of different soils and many have a high chance of shrinking and swelling that can damage the home’s foundation. The swelling and shrinking can cause the home some stress and inadvertently cause cracks within your walls, ceiling, tile flooring and exterior brick and mortar.
What are some signs that you have foundation problems? 🤷♀️ Let me give you a few:
1.) The bedroom door that used to close is no longer closing, no longer latches, or gets jammed easily.
2.) Cracks appear in the walls. Some of the most telling is when you look at the top corners of the doors and windows and see the cracks moving diagonally (you may also see them at the bottom corners of the doors and windows).
3.) You can feel or even see the floor sloping or is uneven at certain spots.
4.) Walk the exterior of your home and look at the brick and mortar. If you see cracks in the mortar or brick that is bigger than a hairline crack then you need to call someone (not your parents or best friend but a structural engineer…the pros)
I recently spoke with Jon Wells with the Wells Inspection Group, LLC to see what a homeowner can do in order to keep their foundation in tip top shape. Jon is a licensed home inspector in Texas and sees many homes on the daily. Jon has seen it all when it comes to foundation problems.
What does Jon say you should do…
1.) Water your foundation regularly during the summer months. When the foundation appears to be separating or you see gaps between the sound and foundation wall, it needs water.
2.) Keep foliage and other debris away from your foundation. Foliage tends to hold in moisture which can lead to breakdown or deterioration of foundation walls.
3.) Monitor for cracks. Anything over 1/4 inch, V-shaped and or displacement of materials should be evaluated by a professional engineer.
4.) Have an adequate gutter system. Gutters can help keeps water from pooling against your home’s foundation. While you want to water your foundation during the summer months, you do not want the water to sit next to your foundation. Always make sure your gutter system is cleared and no clogs are present.
If you feel like your home is suffering from foundation issues, call a structural engineer to come out, take measurements and determine if your home in-fact needs foundation work. The $500-$1,000 can give you peace of mind or set on the road to getting it corrected. Foundation work can costs thousands so the best thing you could do for home and pocket book is preventative care.
The information provided is for was written for information purposes only, please seek the advice of a professional foundation company. Jon Wells is a licensed home inspector in Texas. You can check out his website at: https://www.thewellsinspectiongroup.com. Follow his blogs for tips. Remember when considering to purchase a home, have the home inspected by a licensed home inspector…like Jon. 😎