House Settling Guide for Houston Property Owners
What is house settling? Unfortunately, it’s more common in the Houston area than you might think.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at house settling in the Houston area. Because in this region, we have some unique properties that can take normal house settling and turn it into a nightmare.
We’ll cover signs of settlement, the problem with our clay soil composition, and how this can affect your home’s structure.
By understanding what is house settling and being proactive about addressing any potential issues, you can minimize the problems this causes for your home.
What is House Settling?
House settling refers to the process of a home’s foundation adjusting to changes in the surrounding soil. The soil underneath supports the building. As the soil settles, the house naturally settles with it.
The soil beneath a structure naturally shifts, sinks, and settles unevenly. This normal settling is common with all new construction and can continue for the life of the house. Though a house typically “settles in” after the first few years.
But the Houston area has additional foundation settlement issues because the soil composition and weather conditions create a unique problem.
In this region of the country, we have a particular type of soil called expansive clay. This clay is like a sponge. It soaks up large volumes of water, causing excessive swelling. Then during dry spells it releases that water, causing it to shrink.
While some degree of settling is normal for any structure, this excessive shifting causes serious structural issues. Leveling your house will become necessary in order to avoid foundation problems.
Check this video out to appreciate just how much clay can affect the building process:
Identifying House Settling in the Houston Area
If you’re a property owner in Houston, it’s important to recognize the signs of house settling and determine if your home requires foundation repair services. Keep an eye out for these common indicators:
- Drywall cracks or other wall cracks
- Foundation cracks or concrete lifting
- Uneven or sloping floors
- Gaps around windows and doors
- Doors that stick or won’t close properly
- Bowing crawlspace walls
- Foundation wall cracks
- Shifting or tilting chimney
- Strange noises
By understanding the signs of house settling in Houston, property owners can be better prepared to identify and address any potential issues. Because of the unique condition in the Houston area, it is important to be aware of these symptoms.
If you notice any of these issues, it may be time to call in an expert from A-Best Foundation Repair in Houston. Our team can assess your property and provide professional advice on addressing any foundation concerns.
Remember to always consult an expert first before doing any DIY repairs on your foundation problems.
Effects of House Settling
House settling can have various negative effects on your property. Cracks may show up in walls and floors, which can point to structural harm. Additionally, uneven floors can pose a safety hazard and create an uncomfortable living environment.
Another consequence of house settling is doors that won’t close properly due to misaligned frames. This not only causes inconvenience but also compromises your home’s security, safety, or appraised value.
Furthermore, plumbing issues such as slab leaks can arise from shifting foundations, leading to costly repairs if left unaddressed. If you suspect one, you should have a hydrostatic test done.
In severe cases, unchecked house settling could result in a significant foundation problem. Here’s a list of some more common problems:
- Damage to foundation piers
- Foundation settling
- Foundation damage
- Shifting piers
Solutions for House Settling in Houston
One of the most effective solutions is seeking foundation repair services from a professional contractor. As this is a highly specialized profession, you want someone who has the training and experience to tackle these challenging problems.
A-Best Foundation Repair can assess your property and recommend appropriate measures, such as:
- Underpinning: Strengthening or stabilizing the foundation by installing steel piers or pilings.
- Mudjacking: Injecting a cementitious mixture beneath settled concrete slabs to lift them back into place.
- Drainage improvements: Redirecting water away from your home’s foundation to reduce soil erosion and expansion.
- Crawl space repair
- Installing push piers
Don’t wait until it’s too late to address house settling. Contact A-Best Foundation Repair today to schedule a consultation with our team of experts.
The effects of house settling can be devastating and costly, but with the right solutions in place, it is possible to prevent further damage. Fortunately, there are a variety of solutions available for homeowners looking to repair or mitigate their foundation problems caused by house settling.
Some Final Suggestions on Houston House Settling
House settling is a natural process that occurs in every home over time. Identifying the signs of settling early on can help prevent further damage to your property.
Causes of house settling include soil conditions, foundation design, and environmental factors such as weather patterns. The effects of house settling can range from minor cosmetic issues to more severe structural problems.
Fortunately, there are solutions available for homeowners dealing with house settling issues. From simple repairs such as leveling to complete foundation replacements, professional contractors like A-Best Foundation Repair offer a variety of options tailored to fit your specific needs and budget. This includes pier and beam foundations as well as slab-on-grade construction.
If you’re experiencing any signs of house settling or would like more information on how to protect your Houston property from future damage, contact A-Best Foundation Repair today for a free consultation!
FAQs on House Settling
When should I worry about my house settling?
It’s normal for houses to settle over time. However, if you notice significant cracks in walls or floors, uneven surfaces, or doors that won’t close properly, it may be time to consult a professional foundation repair contractor.
Do houses ever stop settling?
While most homes eventually reach a point of stability after initial settlement, factors like soil erosion and plumbing leaks can cause ongoing issues. It’s important to monitor your home’s foundation and address any issues as soon as they arise to prevent further damage.
Can a house settle after 30 years?
Yes. House settling can occur at any stage of a home’s life due to various reasons such as changes in the surrounding environment or poor construction practices. If you notice any signs of settling, it’s best to have a professional inspection to determine the cause and necessary repairs.