Block and base foundations, while both popular and economical in older home designs, come with their own set of challenges. For homeowners owning a home with this kind of foundation, understanding potential issues and their severity is essential. DuraTech Texas would like to cover some of the common problems of block and base foundations and how to identify them when professional services becomes essential.
Understanding Block & Base Foundations
Firstly, it is important to understand the structure. This foundation type relies on blocks that are usually made of concrete, stone, or even wood which is positioned directly on the ground, with wooden bases or joists laid across these blocks to support the structure’s weight. Their simple design often made them the go-to choice for older homes and smaller structures. However, time and other elements lead to a number of problems for block and base foundations.
Common Problems with a Block & Base Foundation
• Soil Movement and Settling: The direct placement of blocks on the ground makes them susceptible to the movements of the soil underneath. Expansive soils or those prone to settling can cause blocks to shift or become uneven, leading to structural weakness.
• Moisture Issues: With its close distance to the ground, block and base foundations can absorb ground moisture, leading to potential wood rot or mold growth. Additionally, poor drainage can accelerate moisture-related problems.
• Wood Damage: Termites, carpenter ants, and other pests are attracted to the wooden bases in these foundations. Over time, pest infestations can lead to major structural damage.
• Block Deterioration: Blocks, especially those made of older concrete or wood, can degrade over time due to moisture, pests, or natural wear and tear.
When to Seek Professional Help for Foundation
• Visible Block Movement: If you notice blocks that have obvious shifting or if there are gaps between the blocks and the structure they support, it is time to call in an expert.
• Serious Moisture or Mold: A small amount of ground moisture can be typical, but pooling water, mold growth, or damp wooden bases warrant a professional’s attention.
• Pest Damage Signs: If you notice signs of a pest infestation, such as tunnels in the wood, it is important to address both the infestation and any potential foundation damage.
• Uneven Floors or Structural Instability: If the interior of your home shows signs like sloping floors, doors that won’t shut correctly, or cracking walls, these might indicate foundation problems.
• Routine Checks: Even if no obvious issues are present, scheduling periodic professional inspections is wise. Early detection of minor issues can prevent more serious, costly problems down the road.
Foundation Repair Services & More in Crosby, Cypress, Friendswood & Greater Houston, Texas
While block and base foundations have served many homes well for decades, they come with challenges that homeowners should be aware of. Regular inspections, both personal and professional, are the key to maintaining the health and longevity of these foundations. By staying on top of foundation repairs, you can ensure the safety and stability of your home for years to come. For block and base foundation inspections, repair and more, contact DuraTech Foundation today.