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August 19, 2022

How and why to regularly check
your home's foundation

check home's foundation

As a rather inconspicuous part of your home’s construction, your foundation can easily become one of those things you don’t think of until a problem becomes apparent. But by the time an issue with your foundation has made itself obvious, it’s usually in need of urgent repair.

You can spare yourself the surprise of extensive (and expensive!) remediation work by looking for signs of degradation on a regular basis. It is generally recommended to inspect your foundation at least twice a year. Checking your foundation this often is critical for a number of reasons, which we’ll go over below.

Seasonal Stress

Each season’s unique weather patterns can put a lot of stress on your foundation. In the rainy periods, the ground beneath your foundation can become totally saturated with rainwater. This can introduce pressure forces, and even create a higher risk for the soil to erode when droughts hit. The moisture-leeching effect of dry periods can cause a great deal of soil dissipation to occur after just one season.

Going by the twice-a-year recommendation for inspection frequency, it’s best to time your check-ups for the end of the dry season and the end of the wet season. This will allow you to get a good idea of how each has been affecting your foundation and take precautionary measures the next year. It will also enable you to spot any problems that arise after a particularly harsh season.

Surrounding Effects

There are a lot of factors outside our control when it comes to causes for foundation breakdowns. It’s possible for activity that doesn’t even take place on your property to affect the ground soil that’s holding your foundation in place. Nearby construction, leaks in local gas or plumbing lines, floods, and natural sinkhole formation can all make an impact. Even the trees in your neighbor’s yard have the potential to cause soil erosion or penetrate the concrete.

Since there’s nothing you can do about what’s going on outside your property lines, the best approach is to stay vigilant about inspections. Regular check-ups will allow you to spot any changes that may have resulted from local factors before they become unmanageable.

Original Construction Issues

Unfortunately, not all of Austin’s homes have been built with the best craftsmanship. Many have been constructed by companies that employ low-skill workers, or prioritize quick completion so that they can collect their final check. This has resulted in a fair number of homes having unsound foundations from the start.

If your home is among them, then it is highly vulnerable to the influences listed above. It can take little time for buckling or cracking to begin once stress has been put on the foundation. Staying on top of inspections will ensure that no damage goes unnoticed for long.

Note that even if your original foundation is solid, a faulty plumbing system can put it at risk as well. If you’ve ever had problems with the quality of your home’s plumbing installations, it’s wise to be cautious and look for signs that leaks or burst pipes may be affecting your foundation.

What to Look For

Performing regular checks of your foundation will require looking at both the foundation exterior and your crawl space or basement. Be sure to look around your home’s interior as well.

The symptoms you should be looking for include:

  • Standing water around the foundation perimeter
  • Depressions and soggy spots in the yard
  • Tree roots growing into foundation side
  • Moisture collection or mold in the basement or crawl space
  • Rust or wear on foundation piers and beams (not applicable for slab foundations)
  • Bulging or leaning foundation edges
  • Cracks in the foundation, basement walls, or home walls
  • Sagging or slanting walls, doorways, and windows
  • Doors and windows that jam or don’t close properly
  • Sloping or drooping floors

Get Expert Help Inspecting Your Foundation

While performing a DIY inspection may be enough to get you by most of the time, it’s worth it to have a professional come in every once in a while and do a thorough check-up. Thanks to extensive training and experience, they are often able to identify issues that homeowners may not notice on their own.

If any of your personal inspections have turned up signs of foundation damage, you’ll definitely need to ge t expert help immediately. Professional foundation repair teams will be able to confirm if there’s a problem, diagnose the extent of it, and recommend the most sensible solution.

At Douglas Foundation Solutions, we’ve helped homeowners throughout the Austin area catch foundation issues early and get them solved ASAP. We provide our customers with appropriate, affordable solutions that are always mindful of the resident’s budget and the state of their home. Our team is committed to honesty and integrity in every job we do, which is why we guarantee quotes that offer the best possible solutions for our customers.

If you’d like to schedule an inspection for your foundation, please contact us. We’ll book you an appointment and dispatch one of our specialists as soon as possible.