Zip Level Measurements
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: There are two types of homeowners in North Texas – those with foundation issues and those who will one day be dealing with foundation issues.
Spend any time watching TV without fast-forwarding through commercials, and you’ll come across an advertisement for foundation repair. The ad will sound something like this: “Is your house experiencing cracking around the corners of windows and doors? Are your windows hard to open? Do your doors swing open or close themselves? If so, you may have foundation issues!”
Foundation companies employ these scare tactics to put uncertainty in your mind. They want to get in front of you and sell you very costly foundation repair. But the fact is that foundations in North Texas will move. And what many people don’t know is that our foundations are designed for movement, and some movement is actually expected.
Certainly, some houses suffer from too much shifting. However, many – if not most – are undergoing normal foundation movement created by our expansive clay soils. These soils can expand and contract up to 400%. When this happens, you get cracking around the corners of window and doors. Some windows become harder to open. Some doors may swing to and fro.
When that happens, don’t do the old Texas foundation two step! Step one: You get scared. Step two: You buy thousands of dollars of needless foundation repair. Often simple foundation watering will do the job.
One way to avoid being taken advantage of is to obtain foundation elevation measurements using a zip level. These measurements can tell you how the foundation is performing over time and how level or out of level your foundation is. A zip level can also tell you if the movement is within acceptable variations across the slab. And once you have the measurements, they can be used to benchmark future movement.
Benchmarking is important because when you see movement indicators and call a foundation company, they will likely come to your house and perform measures with a zip level or similar device. Once completed they will proceed to try to sell you foundation repair. They will talk about movement indicators, out-of-levelness, and unacceptable variations. It will all make complete sense and feel like a no-brainer. Repair it is then, right?
No! Not right! Since you already have benchmarks, you can look at their measurements and compare them to yours! You can now make an informed decision on whether to repair or not.
Stonebriar Property Inspections is pleased to offer zip level measurements for an additional fee. Please contact us to learn more.