The Situation

A homeowner living in a 3,000 sq ft one-story wood framed residential structure with a slab foundation and exterior brick veneers noticed significant damage inside their home. These signs included cracks, window separations and shifting of the mortar. The homeowner contacted Crosstown Engineering because the home was recently built and was already experiencing severe damage. Given the well-documented drainage and flooding problems in Texas, it’s a good thing this homeowner brought in a structural engineer.

Analysis

Crosstown Engineering conducted a foundation inspection that revealed sustaining heave damage on the inside due to excessive moisture around the foundation. This resulted in the revelation of hairline cracks, window separations, exterior trim separations between wood pieces, exterior brick cracks and crumbling mortar.

Our structural engineers hypothesized that the builder built the property on dry soil and due to heavy rainfall, the foundation experienced ‘heave.’ Heave is caused when the clay soil interacts with water, making the soil expand and push up on the foundation.

In addition, our foundation engineers observed poor grading around the exterior of the home. The soils were sloped towards the home, which caused standing water to remain near the foundation, even two days after a rainstorm.

Solution

Our structural engineer recommended a yard drainage system with inlets and pipes, which could collect the water runoff and direct it away from the house and onto the adjacent street, away from the foundation. In addition, a full gutter system was recommended for installation. The gutter system will discharge to the newly-designed drainage system and manage roof runoff.

If you notice signs of foundation damage, contact Crosstown Engineering today for a professional inspection and an engineering report.