Owning a home can be one of the greatest joys in your life. It’s where you make lifelong memories, grow a family, and relax after a long day. As with anything worth having, owning a home comes with its fair share of responsibilities.
This is especially true for your home’s foundation. It’s not always visible, but it’s arguably the most important part. It essentially shoulders the entire weight of your home.
Without a strong foundation, you may run into a myriad of problems. Such problems may include uneven floors in your house, non-functional doors and windows, sagging walls, cracks, and moisture.
In today’s post, we are going to take a look at 4 common foundation mistakes made by homeowners.
4 Common Foundation Mistakes Made by Homeowners
Knowledge is power and knowing what mistakes to avoid in regard to your Dallas, TX house’s foundation is key.
Mistake #1: Poor Drainage
It’s important that your foundation is neither too dry nor too wet. To remain stable, it must contain the right amount of moisture. If you let the area around your foundation become too wet, you risk causing damage to your foundation.
In Texas, most soil is comprised of clay. In the presence of water, the clay soil absorbs water and expands, causing upward pressure on your home’s foundation. Due to this, over time, you may begin to notice problems on your foundation.
Such problems may include cracks on your foundation, wall, and/or floor.
So, how do you fix the issue of poor drainage? First, you need to make sure that your gutters are functioning as they should. Moreover, make use of extensions on the downspouts to move rainwater as far away from your home as possible.
Next, ensure that you take care of runoff water as well. And lastly, keep a proper landscape around the base of your home. It should direct water away from your foundation and not towards it.
Mistake #2: Low Moisture Content
In contrast to your foundation being too wet, you must also ensure that the area around your foundation doesn’t become too dry.
During the dry season, make sure you have an irrigation system in place. A basic soaker hose will usually suffice. Although, if possible, a sprinkler system is recommended.
The goal of a foundation watering system program is to maintain a constant level of moisture in the soil surrounding your home’s foundation. Otherwise, the soil beneath your foundation will shrink and will not offer any support to the overlying structure. This, in turn, will result in hard-to-open doors and windows, and cracks in the basement that will eventually spread to the upstairs unit.
Mistake #3: Too Many Trees Too Close to Your Foundation
This is another mistake that many homeowners in Dallas, TX often make. Yes, everyone loves nice landscaping, trees, and foliage. Nevertheless, planting trees near your foundation could be a disaster in waiting.
The damage could potentially cause you financial ruin.
It goes without saying that trees require nutrients and moisture to grow. When you plant them next to your home, the trees will be drawing moisture from the soil supporting your house.
While the damage it can create depends on the type and size of a tree, the amount of water taken up could be a significant volume. In fact, one large tree can lift up to 100 gallons of water out of the ground and discharge it into the air in a single day.
Over time, the soil beneath your home will become dry and contract. Left unattended, this could make your foundation bow and flex, as explained in mistake #2.
Moreover, if the tree has an extensive root system, the roots could begin pushing against the foundation. This would cause it to stretch and crack.
If you already have a large tree planted near your foundation, then consider installing a root barrier. A root barrier will ensure that your property is protected while the tree is allowed to thrive.
Mistake #4: Neglecting Foundation Repairs
Some homeowners in Dallas often neglect foundation problems until the problem gets worse. At that point, the issue has grown to serious levels and the costs have hit the roof.
With foundation problems, it always pays to act fast. The sooner you act, the sooner you can contain the problem and the less it’ll cost you.
So, what are some of the problems you should be on the lookout for? They are as follows:
- Foundation cracks, wall/floor cracks and other types of fractures. Have you noticed gaps around your foundation or on the brick exterior of your home? If so, it could be a sign that your home has moved.
- Foundation settling. Does your home appear to be sinking? If so, it could be a sign that your home is undergoing foundation settling. Over time, you may also notice that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to open or close your doors and windows.
- Foundation upheaval. Does your foundation seem to have moved more than 2 inches off the ground? If so, it could mean that your home is experiencing the opposite of “foundation settling” – foundation upheaval. It’s a serious problem that could ultimately render your home uninhabitable.
- Sticky doors and windows. If your doors and windows are sticking, then the culprit could be the foundation. Sometimes, the issue could be caused by high humidity levels, however. A foundation expert can help you get to the bottom of the problem.
- Counters and cabinets separating from the wall. At first, they may seem to have moved by a tiny bit. But before you even know it, you may notice that the gap has grown to something significant. If you have noticed something like this, the issue could be the foundation.
- Sagging or uneven floors. Do your floors appear to be out of level or appear to be sagging? If so, the problem could be that your home’s foundation has moved.
- Gaps around window frames or exterior doors. If you have noticed gaps around window frames or exterior doors, the problem could be the foundation. When foundations shift or move, gaps around exterior window frames, as well as spaces around exterior doors often arise.
These are the common foundation mistakes that many homeowners in Dallas often make. At the first sign of trouble, you must be sure to contact a local home foundation expert for help. It could mean the difference between a few hundred dollars and a couple of thousands in repair costs.