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Texas Home Foundation Laws: What Homeowners Need to Know

Owning a home in Texas comes with a lot of responsibility. You must keep the property maintained and safe for all occupants, including yourself and all guests. One aspect of every home that is critical to its safety and structural stability is the foundation. Whether you own a home, plan to buy one, or hope to sell your property soon, understanding home foundation laws in Texas is crucial

Home Foundation Requirements

Issues with a home’s foundation present numerous red flags. First, they make the home’s structure unsafe. Second, they could make the home difficult to sell, especially since an inspection would quickly reveal the issue. There are many types of foundation requirements that must be met to be considered up to code. 

Foundation Load-Bearing Values

A home’s foundation is built on terrain that could consist of different materials. These materials have varying load-bearing values that must be in order for a foundation to be considered safe. The types of materials include crystalline bedrock (12,000 lbs per square foot), sedimentary or foliated rock (4,000 lbs per square foot), gravel (3,000 lbs per square foot), sand (2,000 lbs per square foot), clay (1,500 lbs per square foot), and more. 

Foundation Materials

Foundations built on this soil type must also follow specific regulations to protect homeowners from certain risks and pass inspections by professional engineers. Foundation failure is often caused by deteriorating building materials, such as wood, concrete, precast concrete, or masonry.

Foundation Footings

The bottom part of a foundation is known as the footing. This footing must be a continuous solid or fully grouted masonry, concrete, crushed stone, wood, or another approved material. The purpose of a foundational footing is to transfer the load-bearing weight to the ground evenly underneath and around the base of the structure. As footing codes are highly specific depending on the materials used, the ground, and the elevation changes of a property, it’s important to find the exact load-bearing pressure value for the building you’re interested in. 

Foundation Drainage

Drainage is crucial when dealing with foundations. If a new home or existing building has poor drainage, water can collect and deteriorate the materials much faster. This can compromise the safety of the home and the health of everyone inside since water damage can lead directly to mold growth. Additionally, the more water is in contact with foundation materials, the more likely those materials are to warp or crack. 

Foundation Waterproofing

Waterproofing the foundation prevents moisture from moving into the home and its building materials. To keep this moisture in the soil and prevent it from affecting the materials, you must take steps to waterproof the foundation. This could mean installing polyethylene layers, using bituminous coating, or employing other means to protect the foundations.

What if I Have Foundation Problems?

Foundation problems cannot be ignored. If repairs are needed, leaving them alone could result in far worse damage and increase the total cost of the work. You must perform any needed maintenance to keep your foundation up to code, especially if you hope to sell the house in the future.

When you notice a potential issue, your first step should be to have a professional inspect the foundation. If they discover a problem, you should contact your insurance to see if the damage will be covered. Then, contact a contractor who can fix the damage.  

home foundation damage

Types of Foundation Damage

Foundations are vulnerable to many issues. Normal wear and tear, storms, inclement weather, poor construction, and other problems can all cause the foundation to become compromised. To take care of your home, keep an eye out for this list of potential damage concerns:

  • Vertical cracks
  • Horizontal cracks
  • Bowing walls
  • Sticking doors
  • Expansive soil
  • Water leaks
  • Leaning chimneys
  • Sinking foundation
  • Gaps around doors or windows
  • Uneven floors
  • Overgrown tree roots

How to Avoid Foundation Failure

Although it is impossible to predict foundation damage, the best way to avoid it is to have it inspected. An inspection should be a priority if you are buying or selling a house. The last thing you want to do is move into a house and discover major foundational issues because you didn’t pay for a professional inspection. The sooner an issue is discovered, the easier it will be to repair before it gets out of control. 

Selling a House With Foundation Damage?

If you discover a problem with your foundation as you are looking to sell the home, it could hold up your plans to find homebuyers who will take it. Either you have to repair the problem yourself, which will be costly, or you may have to sell the home for a significantly reduced price.

At A-List Properties, we will buy your house for cash, no matter its condition. There is no need to pay for expensive foundation repairs. We will come up with a fair cash offer and take the house off your hands in no more than two weeks. Call us today at (972) 526-7042 or fill out our contact form to get started. We are happy to answer your questions without any obligation.

Sell My House Fast Texas | We Buy Houses Texas

Zach Shelley

Zach Shelley is a seasoned real estate investor with a diverse network spanning across the nation. As the founder of his own real estate venture, Zach is committed to offering innovative solutions to homeowners facing various real estate challenges.. Through his dedication and strategic approach, Zach continues to make a significant impact in the real estate industry, providing homeowners with alternative pathways to navigate their property transactions.

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