Consecutive years of maximum saturation of soils have lessened their ability to support heavy loads, such as large 2-story houses.
“With all of the rain this summer the clay soils simply cannot support the weight of the houses. A 3000 square foot house is sitting on a 1500 square foot footprint so it is almost double the weight of a smaller single story house with the same size footprint. The only thing worse would be another hurricane,” explained Martin Dawson, owner of Dawson Foundation Repair. “Last year Hurricane Harvey and the resulting flood waters saturated the clay soils in and around Houston. This year the heavy rains of summer, particularly August and September, have turned the clay soils into a sort of mush. It is like a precursor to soil liquefaction,” he stated.
Soil Liquefaction is an engineering term and is described in Wikipedia as: “Soil liquefaction occurs when a saturated or partially saturated soil substantially loses strength and stiffness in response to an applied stress such as shaking during an earthquake or other sudden change in stress condition, in which material that is ordinarily a solid behaves like a liquid.”
Mr. Dawson is echoing the shock and discomfort of many homeowners in the Houston metro area. It was estimated that more than 260,000 homes in the area were destroyed or damaged by flood waters. Now, one year later, after many homeowners have made repairs to their homes they are experiencing severe foundation problems which necessitate some form of foundation repair. Concrete slab foundations are moving and cracking in response to the soil movement underneath. And when a concrete slab moves, the rest of the house moves with it – brick walls, interior walls, door jams, roof joints, under slab plumbing pipes and more.
“What these houses need is better support for the homes’ concrete slab foundations. The support has to reach either bedrock, or in the case of Houston, stable soil. Stable soils are usually found around 12 to 15 feet below the ground surface,” stated Mr. Dawson, “and without any additional subsurface support the home is subject to nature’s annual seasonal soil movements. All of this water is really making life difficult and expensive for home owners.”
Dawson Foundation Repair
6906 Chetwood, Houston, TX 77081
Company Name: Dawson Foundation Repair
Contact Person: Martin Dawson
Phone: (713) 668-2110