Causes of Houston Foundation Settlement

Often, a foundation settlement problem first appears as a small crack, a sticking door, or a jammed window. If not addressed properly, these problems usually get worse with time. If the problem is ignored, more serious problems, such as ruptured water and sewer lines, damaged electrical lines, tripping hazards, and major structural damage, may develop. Eventually the house may become uninhabitable.

Foundation problems in the Houston area are most often caused by unstable soil. Many houses are not built firmly on bedrock or high-load compacted dirt. Instead, they are built on expansive soils that expand and contract as they absorb water and dry. Unfortunately, if the soil under one part of the house moves more quickly than the soil under another, stresses in the foundation and structure develop. These stresses lead to cracks in the foundation, cracks in internal walls, and sinking, buckling, or leaning foundations. Excessive ground or storm water entering the dirt near the house exacerbates the problem.