With the recent rains flooding much of Texas, many homeowners are concerned about their property’s resilience against flooding. Your San Antonio home may be built Texas strong, but several days of rain will take its toll and cause foundation problems. Whether your home was built 2 or 20 years ago, flooding affects your property in a variety of ways. Explore the world of cracked foundation repair so that you can be prepared for the next storm rolling in off of the Gulf of Mexico.
The soil in and around Texas is largely a clay texture. It holds a significant amount of water. As rain or irrigation saturates the ground, the soil expands with the moisture. In fact, it holds quite a bit of water as the fine particles seem to grow larger in centimeter increments. This expansion process is how cracked foundation repair calls come into being. The soil presses against the concrete with so much force that cracks form. Flooded lands are overly saturated, which leads to as much soil expansion as possible for the given area around your foundation.
Hairline Cracks up Walls
Foundation problems aren’t isolated to the concrete pad either. It’s not unusual for stresses from the soil and foundation to be transferred to adjacent walls. Concrete walls that are directly attached to the foundation may have hairline or thin cracks. As the soil and foundation shift under the flooding conditions, the wall responds with minor movements too. If the flooding continues, those cracks will travel as the weight of the water presses on the structure. Observe your walls that are visible at your property’s ground level, and keep a close eye on their appearances.
Water Forges Larger Foundation Cracks
If your home already has a few cracks in the foundation, flooding will make the structure more unstable. Those minor cracks become conduits for the excess moisture. Similar to a river forging a valley in nature, the flood waters move through the minor cracks as they erode the concrete even further. The resulting conditions are larger cracks that cannot be filled by traditional means. More aggressive repairs might be necessary. Placing sandbags around the home when flooding is imminent is a good tactic to employ, but stop the cracks in their tracks by filling them well before any rain event. The water cannot erode areas that it cannot access.
Holes Opening Up Under Foundation
Although it’s often a rare sight, flooding can lead to voids underneath homes. Contractors compact clay soils under the homes when they’re first constructed, but natural ground shifts do occur over time. During a flood, the water forces the soil to act in unusual patterns. Runoff with large patches of soil in the waterway is possible. Voids must be filled by the professionals so that the house doesn’t shift into a dangerous position. The foundation will almost always fail when there’s no soil support underneath it.
Cracked Foundation Repair Resolutions
Avoid damage caused by floods by adjusting the drainage around the home. Verify that rain gutters and landscaping are pointed away from the property. Everyday rainstorms can simply flow away from the property without any threats to the foundation. If you suspect any cracks along the foundation as the property ages, contact professionals to fix any minor concerns.
Professional foundation repair contractors, such as The Arredondo Group, can discuss foundation problems with San Antonio residents so that any preventative measures can be taken before a big storm. Cracked foundation repair may not be avoided altogether, but simple steps to shore up your property might reduce frustration and could reduce the cost of foundation repair for your home.