2023 HOME EDITION
GROWTH IN GROUNDWORK City sta said they saw a large increase in foundation repair permits led in recent years. So far in 2023, around 200 permits were led.
WHAT CAUSES FOUNDATION ISSUES?
Number of residential foundation permits in New Braunfels
Ocials with Alamo Hy-Tech Foundation Repair have listed some common causes for foundation issues.
1 Evaporation: Intense heat can cause soil to shrink beneath the foundation, which can cause cracks to appear throughout the home. 2 Transpiration: Tree roots are an example of something that can disturb and move the soil beneath a home and cause the structure to settle. 3 Plumbing leaks: Water from plumbing leaks can cause foundation issues. 4 Drainage: One of the leading causes of foundation issues is excess moisture that erodes
or consolidates the soil due to improper drainage.
5 Inferior foundation
SOURCE: CITY OF NEW BRAUNFELSCOMMUNITY IMPACT
construction: Insucient steel and concrete can contribute to the movement of the slab. 6 Inferior ground preparation: The leading cause of foundation issues is the soil not being compacted properly beneath a home. 7 Poor soil conditions: Bad soil and its expansion or contraction may contribute to foundation issues.
prevent major foundation issues is to have a hydrostatic sewer test com- pleted on their homes. “We do a lot of digging, a lot of tunneling and excavation for plumb- ing companies here in town,” Alamo Hy-Tech Vice President Lori Archer said. “Because they’ll ¡nd the leak underneath the house from the static sewer tests, and then we’ll have to excavate to get that leak available so that they can repair it. And a lot of times that is put hand in hand with foundation repair.” Ott Plumbing Co. then works with a foundation repair company to dig a hole that is necessary to repair the leak and inspect and maintain the quality of the foundation. Homes with pier and beam foundations are easier to repair as the pipes can be
accessed under the home through a crawl space, Ott said. Collins said some of the signs of possible foundation issues home- owners should look out for include uneven ¤ooring, gaps between the ground and foundation, as well as broken tiles or cracks in the soil, external foundation or interior walls. “Unfortunately, you just don’t know which one comes ¡rst,” Ott said. “[It may be] your foundation shifting due to soil and moisture, or if it’s coming from a broken pipe that has caused a leak that has caused the shifting, it’s really hard to say.”
SOURCE: ALAMO HYTECH FOUNDATION REPAIRCOMMUNITY IMPACT
Severe weather, including freezes and dryness, can lead to soil shift- ing, which may lead to pipes breaking around a home and excess moisture contributing to shifts in foundation. “Any time you have a break under there and it leaks and it gets wet mois- ture, that can develop into shifting, … and that’s when it starts breaking the pipe or could cause a break,” Ott said.
When ¡xing a concrete foundation, excavation work is completed on the exterior or interior of the home, depending on where the leveling needs to occur, according to Alamo Hy-Tech Foundation Repair. Leveling the issue One way local professionals rec- ommend homeowners can work to
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NEW BRAUNFELS EDITION • JULY 2023
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