Freezing weather rarely causes foundation problems for Houston homeowners. It’s the warmer temperatures and erratic rainfall that cause problems. Even though Houston seldom deals with cold weather, a freezing spell can still result in the need for home foundation repair.
How Weather Changes Affect Building Foundations
Hot and cold temperature changes can affect foundations, specifically the soil and building materials. Here are some of the problems you may face with foundation temperature changes.
Houstonians usually welcome rain, especially in the summer. Hot temperatures and drought can lead to foundation movement and settlement. The downpours temporarily lower steamy temperatures, but they can also cause soil erosion.
Your home’s foundation sits on soil that can wash away during heavy or prolonged rainfall, causing it to shift or sink. The soil around the perimeter is most likely to be affected by weather, while soils under the interior of a foundation stay relatively stable.
Soil Expansion and Contraction
Clay soil is common in Houston, but it’s not the only type. Soil contracts and expands at different rates, depending on the type. Dry, hot weather can result in the soil shrinking, only to have it expand in soil saturating rainfall.
The top layer of soil underneath the foundation freezes first, slowly permeating the lower ones. When the deeper soil layers freeze, water in the ground can start pushing to the top. Known as ‘frost freeze,’ it can cause cracks and the foundation to shift. This is less of a problem in Houston, though.
Even if the soil isn’t pushed upwards by foundation temperature changes, it can still expand outwards, resulting in damage.
Poor drainage around your home’s foundation often results in problems. While Houstonians don’t have to worry about erosion from snowmelt, heavy rains are an occasional problem. It commonly occurs with a foundation close to landscaping slopes, but your gutters can also cause poor drainage.
If you notice excessive water runoff after it rains, resolving the problem can help prevent the need for foundation repairs.
Regrading your landscaping slope can help stop soil erosion. Drainage control can also prevent erosion if landscape regrading is not an option. The drains effectively funnel water away from the house, keeping it far from your foundation.
Signs of Seasonal Foundation Damage
Is your Houston home showing signs of foundational issues? Knowing what to look for can save you time and money in foundation repair costs.
Sagging roofs, along with doors and windows that are hard to open and close, can be foundation warning signs. Gaps between windows and doors are another clue it’s time to call the experts for home foundation repair.
Cracks in the walls and ceiling should always be inspected by a foundation expert. It also applies if you have cracks in second-story walls or around the exterior of your home or leaks in the attic.
Some other foundation warning signs to watch for when the temperature changes include:
- Sagging front and back porches
- Exterior bricks are starting to separate
- Walls are beginning to lean or bow
Hot temperatures may cause doors to stick because the door contracts—especially metal doors. However, sticking exterior doors during the hot summer months doesn’t necessarily mean foundation problems.
Home Foundation Repair Experts at URETEK Gulf Coast
Houston area homes are prone to foundation temperature changes, especially from hot weather. When you spot foundation warning signs, it’s time to call the experts.
URETEK Gulf Coast specializes in Houston foundation repair. Whether it is soil erosion control, drainage problems, or other issues, our knowledgeable team has the solution you need to restore your foundation.