If your home needs foundation repair in San Antonio, keep in mind that it’s not enough to simply address growing cracks and chips. If you don’t also determine and then correct reasons for needed pier and beam or slab foundation repair in San Antonio, you might face those same repair costs over the years!
While only a foundation repair contractor, structural engineer, or property inspector can note reasons why your home in particular needs foundation repair, there are some common reasons for long-term foundation damage to a San Antonio house. Knowing these can help you pinpoint reasons for needed repairs and know what you might be facing by way of repair costs, and also changes or fixes needed for your home or property.
A homeowner might not associate tree roots with needed foundation repairs in San Antonio but note that those roots can grow underneath a home and its foundation, and then put pressure on that concrete slab. As those roots continue to grow and press against the foundation, they can then cause cracks and chips. The foundation might also outright buckle or heave upwards!
A landscape engineer or arborist can often figure the best way to trim back or redirect tree roots without damaging the tree itself. In some cases, however, you might need to relocate the tree or choose to replace it with a species that has smaller roots. This will protect your home and reduce costly foundation damage.
Even the sturdiest foundation can manage only so much weight before it begins to buckle, shift, crack, and otherwise suffer damage. A homeowner, however, might not think of checking their foundation and its structure and strength before installing an additional roofing layer, stone floors or countertops, sunroom along one side of the home, and other such features.
While you might not think of these additions as creating too much weight for a foundation, they can put a home’s weight out of balance or simply add too much weight for the foundation to manage safely. In turn, the foundation and home itself might begin to sink and settle along one side or begin to shift in its middle. This shifting and settling leads to cracks, chips, and other such costly damage.
One major cause of San Antonio foundation damage is excess moisture in the soil around the home’s foundation. A concrete foundation absorbs that moisture and then expands, risking cracks. Concrete then also shrinks as it dries, also risking cracks!
Knowing why and how a property might suffer from excess moisture is key to protecting your home’s foundation. One vital aspect of home protection is keeping the gutters clean and clog-free! Homeowners often fail to associate a home’s gutters with its foundation; however, keep in mind the purpose of gutters, to direct rainwater off the roof and to nearby downspouts. Those downspouts then direct that water away from the home and its foundation.
When gutters clog or downspouts become caked with “gunk,” that rainwater tends to wash over gutter sides and pool around the home’s foundation. Regular gutter cleaning and especially a professional power washing is then an excellent means of protecting the home’s foundation!
Proper grading is also key to ensuring soil is not excessively moist and that moisture doesn’t collect around the home’s foundation. Residential properties are typically graded or sloped toward the street or a nearby drain, so moisture in the soil runs away from the home. A landscaping engineer can typically tell you if your property needs better grading and if that’s the cause of your needed foundation repair in San Antonio.
As with too much moisture in the soil, overly dry conditions also lead to needed foundation repair in San Antonio! Dry soil doesn’t compact as well as rich, moist soil; in turn, dry soil doesn’t support a home’s weight as it should. As the home shifts and settles out of position, the foundation then cracks and chips.
If your property has dry soil, ensure you water it in the morning and evening. Avoid watering your property when the sun is out and at its hottest as this will only evaporate the water and potentially scorch your lawn and landscaping! Watering when the sun is not full and the temperatures have cooled will mean strong soil and less risk of needed foundation repair in San Antonio.
Poor-quality foundation installation in San Antonio can lead to premature repairs. If a contractor uses a weak concrete mixture or doesn’t create a thick enough foundation to support your home’s weight, that foundation will crack and chip before too long. The best way to avoid these otherwise unnecessary or premature repairs is to invest in a reputable, reliable foundation company in San Antonio and ensure they stand behind their work with a full guarantee!
An older foundation can also suffer damage simply due to its age! Concrete absorbs moisture and expands and then dries out and shrinks no matter soil conditions, and can also break down due to chemicals in the soil, sand and mud clinging to its exposed walls, and other such factors. Changes in soil conditions including earth removal for nearby construction projects and flooding also affect soil strength so that it cannot bear the weight of your home, increasing the risk of foundation cracks and other such damage.
While you obviously cannot change your foundation’s age, knowing that it might suffer damage as the years go by is an excellent reason to schedule regular foundation inspections in San Antonio. A foundation repair contractor can spot developing damage and note if it’s severe enough to warrant underpinning or slab jacking. Scheduling needed foundation repair in San Antonio while that damage is still minimal keeps it contained and allows you to avoid otherwise unnecessary, expensive fixes.