Here’s your basic foundation problem shame spiral: Am I the only one experiencing foundation problems? Why is this happening to my home? Could I have prevented my foundation from settling? Or worst of all, did I cause my foundation issues?
You are not the only one who feels this way.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have repaired 5,000+ homes in the Brazos Valley since 1985. We can assure you that you are not alone in your foundation problems because we are aware of how many people we help over the years.
This article will offer you some comfort in knowing that it’s not just your house. We will talk about conditions that cause foundation settlement and discuss whether you could have prevented foundation problems. We finish with some estimated numbers of how many homes have problems and get repairs in our area.
Why Am I Having Foundation Problems?
Why me? Why my house? These questions run through many homeowners’ minds and cause distress. There are a few main causes of foundation problems and they are all things that you can’t predict or control. Most foundation issues have one or more of these top causes:
- Expansive clay soil
- Drought and changing weather conditions
- Under-slab plumbing leaks
- Lot slope or features
- Original lot preparation or slab construction
Number 1 is the most common cause while number 5 is the least common cause, with the other causes ranked in descending order of frequency. This is not a scientific ranking system, just our impressions and opinions on what we see the most compared to what we see happen the least.
In the coming sections, we will explain these causes more and how they are not under your control or ability to prevent. Just know that you are not alone in your foundation problems. There is virtually nothing you could have done to cause, avoid, or prevent your foundation settlement issues.
Did I Cause the Foundation Problems In My Home?
In thinking logically about the list of causes above, you don’t have the ability to control them. The expansive clay soil that is prevalent in Texas and throughout much of the United States is not caused by you. You did not put down the dirt we have.
Unfortunately for homeowners, expansive soil has some properties that can negatively affect home foundations. You didn’t create those soil properties so, of course, you didn’t cause your foundation problems. You can blame the dirt though.
You can also blame our ever-changing weather. The fluctuations between the rainy and drought seasons that we experience in Central Texas make our expansive clay soil particularly reactive. You do not cause the weather and can’t control it either.
When I think about it, it’s really the top two causes acting together that cause the most problems for home foundations.
Under-slab plumbing leaks can cause foundation settlement, and most of the time it’s very difficult to know that you have a leak under your home. You know, since concrete slabs aren’t see-through and you can’t tell what’s going on down there. So a leak might have caused the problem, but most people don’t realize there’s a leak until they start seeing common signs of foundation settlement in their home.
Sometimes homes are built on a slope or have a hill or creek on the lot. All of these features can contribute to foundation issues in some way. I’m not saying that every home on a slope will have foundation problems by any means. I’m just saying that sometimes the way your lot is situated and how water drains off of it can be a factor and you didn’t directly cause it.
Much less often, a home could have lot preparation deficiencies or poor workmanship in the original construction. Unless you directly built your own home with your two hands, then you are not the cause of the foundation issues but your builder or an individual worker could be to blame. Honestly though, this is the least common issue and you still have no control over it for the most part.
Could I Have Prevented My Foundation Issues?
Just as you didn’t cause your foundation issues, there’s likely not much you could have done to prevent them. You can’t control the soil, the weather, invisible plumbing leaks, topography, or a builder from years ago.
Sure, there are a few ways to *try* to prevent foundation problems, but none of them are failsafe or guaranteed to work.
The best you can do is monitor your home for foundation problems throughout the year and take a few precautions during times of drought. But even then, you could still end up with foundation settlement and issues. Most of the situations that cause the problem are completely out of your control. Any immediate efforts in your yard are going to have no impact on a large-scale issue.
How Many Homes Have Foundation Settlement and Problems?
Let’s see if we can’t give you some perspective on how many homes experience foundation issues. First, we have data available to us based on internet searches. At the moment nationwide, we see somewhere around 13,000 to 15,000 people per month visiting our Learning Center for knowledge about foundation problems.
That’s just our website traffic. We know that many other foundation repair websites are also being visited by thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people daily.
In our local Brazos Valley area, we see an average of 28 people each week searching for foundation repair answers online. Then, we get between 15-30 calls per week from homeowners who want Anchor to look at their homes. So every month, just in our immediate area we are hearing from over 100 people close by who need foundation repair assistance.
We also know how many homes we have repaired since 1985 and it’s about 5,000. So if we just do some math on that it’s an average of 135 foundation repairs per year. We are also not the only foundation repair company serving our community, so there are more jobs out there being done by other companies.
There are many people out there in our local BCS and Brazos Valley area that have foundation problems. The numbers above are just the ones who are ready to get their foundation repaired. There could be many others who have foundation problems that are waiting until the time is right to move forward with repairs.
Are You Ready to Handle Your Foundation Problems?
Now that you know that many others are experiencing the same foundation problems that you have with your home, do you feel a little better? Please know that foundation issues are rarely anyone’s fault but more of *something that sometimes happens* to houses, especially in expansive clay soil.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we want you to feel comfortable moving forward with foundation repairs if you have a problem you are ready to fix. After 35+ years in business, we want homeowners to feel confident with their repair decisions and won’t push anyone to decide what’s right for them. We’re ready when you’re ready.
Speaking of knowing when the time is right, let’s look into that a little more since it might help if you are hesitant to get started with foundation repairs. Check out Foundation Settlement Confirmed: When Is the Time Right for Repairs?