Home Inspection Plano Finds Tree Problems

September 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Foundation Issues & Maintenance

Home Inspection Plano – Finds Tree Problems

Home Inspection Plano Tree Problems

As you can see this home in Plano has a tree problem. When a tree is this close to your home it can cause some serious problems to your foundation. Some people would just cut the tree down and problem solved.

Not everyone wants to cut down their trees so what else can you do to save your foundation and the tree?

You could consider the installation of a root barrier to reduce the possibility of damage to the foundation from tree roots and moisture removal.

Another problem with trees being this close to the house is roof damage. I will be looking at the roof next and I will show you if there is any damage.

Please leave a comment if you like this post and tell your friends and family. The comments you leave help me to better service you…

Thanks!

Ricky Ellis

Safety First Home Inspections – Providing home inspection in Plano, TX and surrounding areas.

Fix a Leaky Basement

Do you have a wet basement? It can be more than a simple nuisance. It can damage drywall, framing and even furniture. Even the mild case of condensation can buckle hardwood floors on the above level. It is estimated that about 60% of North Americans have wet basements. Leaky basements are caused by condensation, runoff or subsurface seepage. Let’s examine the three of them.

Condensation

This is the most basic of wet basement issues. It appears on basement floors and walls as water drops, wet spots or puddles. This problem is caused by warm air meeting the cool foundation walls or the uninsulated water pipes. For mild cases of condensation, often airing out the basement will do the trick. You may also consider investing in a dehumidifier to keep the basement nice and dry.

You can prevent condensation in the basement by keeping the temperature relatively warm in the winter. You should also use foam insulation on your cold-water pipes to prevent condensation. If you have concrete walls, you can also damp-proof them with a waterproof coating.

Runoff

Melted snow and rainwater can cause damage to a basement if it is not routed away from the house. The runoff water travels through the soil, stopping at the foundation base. This water can then seep through the cracks in the wall or the footings.

To avoid this type of problem, make sure that the water runs away from the house. The ground should be sloped at least 1 inch for every 4 feet. You should also ensure that your downspout don’t runoff right next to the house. Any pooling or percolating of water near the foundations can have costly implications. Add downspout extensions so the water drains a few feet away from the foundation.

One way to fix this issue is to patch any cracks in the foundations and to seal the basement walls. You should also patch any cracks in the driveway to avoid having water collect below grade. Keeping your gutters clean will prevent any overflow. If you have a particularly soggy area, you should consider installing a dry well which will allow the water to soak into the ground slowly.

Subsurface seepage

If you have runoff symptoms all the time, you may be dealing with high groundwater. You should check with your city to find out if there are underground springs or if the water table is high. In this case, you may have to call in a professional. The solution may be to install a sump pump. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may also have to install drains either inside the footings of the foundation or outside at the base of the footings.

As with most problems, prevention is often the best cure. To avoid a leaky basement, make sure that you use a dehumidifier and that your water pipes are covered. Regularly clean your gutters and install extensions to move the runoff water away from the house.

Armadillo Contracting is a small company offering wet basement solutions. Visit the website to learn how to fix a leaky basement.

10 Warning Signs

It doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to figure out your home needs foundation repair.
There are several overt signs that make it apparent there is a issue, or that the house
is sinking. Look for these signs and call a home foundation professional to double
check. Take these with a grain of salt. Only a certified foundation inspection agent can tell you for sure. Fortunately many companies offer free inspections.

10 Warning Signs You Could Need Foundation Repair

Cracks in walls on the inside of the house- Corners of windows will crack horizontally
and doors will pull away and not shut properly.

Cracks in your fireplace bricks- When bricks start cracking, you know you have a problem,
since they are more stable than drywall.

Previously fixed Nail heads protruding out backwards- This means the gypsum board is being compromised, or bending based on the house leaning, or sinking one way another.

Windows and doors aren’t fitting squarely- Try raising and closing all doors and windows. Are they uneven?That’s a big sign.

Windows on the outside of the house have cracks that run diagonally – This is a slightly different crack that you will see from windows within the house because the caulk joints could be pulling apart too.

Cracks in the exposed concrete at the base of the house – If they are small it could be a non-structural problem, or it could be the first sign of trouble. Check with an inspector to be sure.

Standing water around the house after a rainfall – This could also have something to do with having improper drainage which should also be addressed.

Leaky roof- This could have to do with foundation, or poor roofing. If the roof is in good shape and is relatively new, then it is a foundation problem.

Trees too close to the house- This can cause roots to sidewind under and around the house, cut through concrete, and cause problems.

Roof runoff from gutters not draining away from the house- If once it drains into the yard, the water stays and doesn’t diffuse to a lower place such as a ditch, there could be a problem.

Are you seeing any of these signs? I hope not. Depending on what part of the country you are in, your home may be more susceptible to these issues.

Also, the price of fixing the foundation could depend on the age of your home, weather conditions, the size of your home, and several other variables.

Neil Lemons represents Power Jack Foundation Repair, a Texas-based foundation repair company serving the DFW Since 1991. To learn more about foundation repair services in Lewisville, Mesquite, Garland, or other DFW suburbs visit Power Jack’s website, http://www.pjfr.com

A House with Cracks

You look up at the ceiling and there’s a crack. You walk to another room, and another crack maps its way around the doorframe. Then you see up and down cracks, and cracks that are sideways. Your first thought is foundation problems. Then you instantly think the correction is piers. But cracks can indicate much more, such as a slab leak. Or, it can be less – a simple settling crack. And better yet, simple yard maintenance might correct some of the foundation issues.

Before you jump to conclusions, first notify your insurance provider. “It’s amazing how many homeowners call a foundation company before the insurance company,” says Todd Stephens, vice president of JS Engineering. “There’re necessary steps to take in evaluating a problem before deciding that the foundation needs repairing.”

After an insurance claim is filed, the insurance company will send an adjuster to photograph and look at the damage. According to the information on the report, then the insurance provider will decided what licensed professionals to send to the home. If there is a plumbing leak suspected, then a leak locating service will test and isolate any suspected leaks. If no leaks are found, the claim is ended at this point, and the homeowner can do what he feels necessary.

In many states, insurance companies investigate foundation concerns due to an “accidental discharge of water.” This includes water leaking from the sewer system, water system, bathtub and shower drains, and the sprinkler lines next to the house. All of these will be tested as part of the forensic investigation at no cost to the homeowner.

If there is a leak indicated during the plumbing test, the insurance company contacts an engineering firm to perform further testing. There is a misconception that the engineering firm works directly for the insurance company. This is incorrect. The company is employed by the insurance provider and acts as an unbiased third party. “We record data and base our opinions on the data and on the statements by the homeowner solely,” says Stephens. “We do not get involved on the insurance coverage side of the investigation – that is between the homeowner and the insurance company. We do our job, and the end result doesn’t effect the engineering firm.”

During the structural investigation the house is measured and drawn to scale. Then floor elevations are measured. An interior and exterior site inspection is performed with photographs. A crack inventory is made and the residential history is discussed with the homeowner. “These are the pieces of the puzzle that help us determine whether or not the plumbing leak caused any structural damage,” says Stephens.

After the investigation is complete and a report is submitted to the insurance company, the insurance adjuster will typically meet with the homeowner and discuss the findings.
This entire process usually takes 30 to 45 days from start to finish. The homeowner receives the original copy of the report for his records.
The report includes recommendations on how to correct and stabilize the foundation, whether it is from foundation repair from the insurance company or a lawn maintenance program – such as sprinkler system or root barriers.

Many homeowners are surprised at the extent of the investigations performed at no cost. The only cost incurred by the homeowner is the deductible that is often paid during the plumbing repairs, following the completion of the structural inspection.

Homeowners need to be aware of the time needed for inspections and repairs. Therefore, if you are considering listing your home for sale, these issues need to be tended to before putting the home on the market. Give yourself at least 60 to 90 days to check foundation or plumbing issues in your home.

So the next time you see sheetrock cracks, get prepared. Structural cracks are a good indication that there’s possibly a problem with your home.

Helena Hill is a Dallas real estate broker and a contributor to the Flower Mound Homes Weblog.