We are working on new QR codes for our business cards and documents to allow our clients to better contact us. These codes contain email address, a landing page address for our web site, and our office contact number. Look for them on our cards and reports soon!
Well it is a little off topic, but as an outdoorsman and dad I am always looking for information on fishing or hitting the beach. The beach patrol has a great web page with resources to not only to find beach conditions but a number of cameras to allow you to see current conditions and perhaps population on the beaches. You will find links near the bottom of this page for more fine tuned weather and wave conditions.
It is summer now so in between buying houses, building houses, or looking into those construction problems have a good time, be safe and get out there.
Our local FOX 26 station ran a news story about how our dry weather and increasing temperatures can affect your foundation. The news story covered the need for watering or you may be facing costly foundation repair. This is true, but is only part of the story. Check out our foundation maintenance information to get the whole story and if you are considering root barriers we have some good information on that too. If you are not watering you should start now as we are in drought conditions and it is unlikly conditions are going to improve.
If you where not aware Texas is in a drought! It's not going to be getting any better. Now that we have some warm weather and spring has sprung you will probably start to notice movement in your foundation as the vegetation around your home uses additional moisture from the soil supporting the foundation.
Start your watering program now and check out our foundation care recommendations HERE. I have included a few links showing the areas of most significant drought.
Recently Dan Tremble over at Clouse Floors sent me an interesting article on hardwood floor performance over a crawlspace. Dan is one of the premiere wood flooring installers in the Houston area and we often work together to solve wood flooring performance problems. Cupping of hardwood floors is a common problem over crawlspace due to the humid conditions at the crawlspace and cool conditions created at the flooring in our modern conditioned homes. This is especially true in older homes where HVAC has been added.
The article he sent over is from Hardwood Floors which is the National Wood Flooring Association trade publication. It covers a typical failure of a wood floor and general information on a common solution. Worth the read and I wanted to share it with you. I believe there should be more emphasis on the fact that the cited minimum area of ventilation is just a minimum. You will do much better to exceed the minimum as at least one local builder I work with has found. Also be sure to consider the details of any installed ground cover as drain systems under the ground cover may be necessary in the Houston system, especially in older buildings.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has gone live with a new consumer web site which allows users to register complaints about products online. You can also search for report and recalls from the new web site. This is a good resource for shopping or looking into products you may already own.
Have you ever wonder what will happen if you just don't do anything about that foundation settlement you know has been occurring over the years? That was exactly the question a client asked me recently. They knew they had some foundation movement and just wanted to know what would happen if they lived with it. They were surprised at the findings of my inspection and had no idea it had progressed so far.
Settlement was so bad in one part of the foundation that the rafters had completely disengaged the ridge over that area. Only some poorly implemented mid span roof bracing lower down the roof structure supported this section of rafters on the right of the photograph. The roof could fail catastrophically at this location under high wind load conditions.
A severe sag and damage to the ridge vent could be observed at the roof over the area of the failed rafter to ridge connection.
The separations between the rafters and ridge along other areas of the ridge were not as severe but were still of significant concern. Typically, this type of damage is reinforced if it does not push back together when the foundation is repaired. Often, this type of damage does not push back together unless the nails are removed and the rafters supported during the foundation repair process.
Common indications of differential settlement in the foundation that most people notice include abnormal cracking of the brick, cracks in interior sheetrock, poor door fits, or hairline cracks in the foundation. In this case, poor door fits could be observed below the area of failure of the roof. The jamb of the door racks because the structure supporting the door is distorted as the structure follows the foundation to which it is attached. If it doesn’t, then something separates somewhere else.
These are some of the more serious indications of foundation distress indicating that those cracks in the sheetrock may be more serious than you first thought. You should give our office a call if you have concerns that your foundation may have settled differentially. It may warrant improvements in maintenance, monitoring, or repair at the foundation and structure.
Are you coming up on your 1 year warranty for your new home? Consider a one year condition or property inspection. We will look for common defects in construction as well as the current performance conditions of the foundation, roof, and structure and other systems.
If you did not have your home inspected prior to your purchase or you have specific concerns this is a great way to address those concerns. Contact our office TODAY!
We are starting to get more requests in the office for foundation inspections to meet loan requirements in home sales where homes buyers have already had the home inspected by a Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) Licensed inspector. In most cases, it appears that there is no suggestion from an appraiser or the state licensed inspector, (TREC) but by the loan officer just covering their bases. I suspect we will see more of that in the next quarter.
Are you selling a house and want to keep the sale moving forward. Consider having an evaluation of your foundation done. We often find sellers want to limit the scope of inspections they will provide to buyers to limit the information their buyers must deal with to those items of most specific concern.
Considering buying a house? Hire us to do your inspection. We provide more useful information than a TREC inspector will, and since the structural inspection material is issued as an engineering document, the mortgage company will likely not require additional structure related inspections unless there is a need for repairs to the structure due to some identified problem.
To keep things moving, hire an engineer to do your inspection. Save money and save time. Better yet, just hire us.
I was listening to the radio the other day and heard a familiar local foundation repair contractor’s jingle with the message that you should have piers installed and fix your foundation for good. Piers are a fix to improve the levelness in a building’s foundation and, when properly installed, do improve performance; however, I have news that piers may not be a permanent fix since they often do not fully address the reason your house is moving around when it is on expansive soil, and most often repairs do not include the full foundation, leaving areas which are prone to move with seasonal changes in moisture content in the soil.
Our area of Texas is in drought conditions. If you are not watering your foundation during this period of drought, you need to be. Our office is getting calls from clients who are experiencing differential settlement problems where they have not seen evidences of differential settlement in years. In many cases, I find this is related to one or more large trees near their building where there is evidence of expansive soil. In these conditions, root barriers and watering are very often effective as part of a foundation maintenance program.
Are you having these problems? If so let me take a look and make recommendations for maintenance that may improve performance or help you to understand the extent of repair that may be necessary. The forcasts for this drought indicate it may go on for a while.