When we rebooted our blog, we mentioned the different types of content we would be posting here on out. Among then we have a section called ‘Did You Know…?’ where we will be talking about different subjects that are not directly about foundation repair, but are still related. Let’s call them foundation repair adjacent. And for this entry we will be talking about something that I think will be of great interests. We are all well aware that our beloved state has more than it’s fair share of problems regarding foundation. It is highly likely that everyone has heard of such a situation. Even if you have been fortunate enough not to deal with this, most likely you’ve heard from family, friends or neighbors that someone close, indeed has. It is practically our daily bread.
But have you ever wondered why? Why is it that foundation issues are so darn common in the state of Texas? That is what we will be talking about today.
For starters there are two terms that we need to get acquainted with:
Geohazards. otherwise known as geological hazards. These are adverse geological and environmental conditions that can prove to be a direct threat to humans and our way of life. They involve long-term or short-term geological processes. We generally see earth as unchanging, after all if your parents house had a view of the Guadalupe Peak, chances are your great-great grandchildren will enjoy the exact same view as you did when growing up. However our planet is active on such time scales that could range up to millions of years. In order to understand the subject matter of this post, it is this exact time scale that we will be working with. Now, Geohazards in Texas can include storms, earthquakes, coastal faulting, subsidence and erosion, rockfalls and sinkholes, however we will only be focusing on what causes foundation damage.
Soil. We need to understand this term and how it is directly affected by the long term geological processes we were just talking about. Soil is composed of minerals, organic matter, liquids and gases. It is the upper layer of earth’s surface and supports plant growth. There are five factors that constitute soil formation; Parent material, climate, topography, living organisms and time. In Texas there are 15 major land resource areas, however most of them share a similar background.
Having gone over those two terms now it is time to journey back in time, to a time long before man, around 265 million years ago. I know such a time span is so massive that it is pretty much impossible for us to grasp such a concept, but it is just a small amount of time in regards to the history of our planet. Back then, much of our beloved state was underwater. That was way before the continents formed as we know them and instead we had a single, vast landmass called Pangea. If you were paying attention during class you might remember this little bit of trivia.
Now, remember we mentioned Guadalupe Peak a few paragraphs ago? Remnants fo a huge reef from that era can now be seen on Guadalupe Peak. That is an 8,751-foot-tall mountain that was under the sea. Dwell on that for a second. Guadalupe Peak and the range of mountains around it are among the most well-preserved fossil reefs in the world.
Many changes followed in the next few millions of years until we reach present day. And this takes us full circle to the subject at hand. Among other causes, like seasonal cycles that go from flooding to extended droughts, the main issue we have here is expansive clay soil. While great for farms, ranches and agriculture in general, it is one big problem for our households. After all the soil of our state, the very soil we walk and build and farm on is composed of the sediments of seas that came and went in a bygone era.
For better or worse (as we said, there are some positives to this) the nature of our soil is embedded in the very DNA of Texas, and for the next few millions of years that is not going to change. So foundation problems will be here to stay and while there might not be much that can be done about this, there is one thing that can make all the difference. And that is us. We are the foundation repair experts and your best choice in our field. Whenever you suspect any kind of foundation damage give us a call and we will make sure to leave your house back in great conditions, irregardless of what type of damage it has sustained.
Oh and also, now you have a fun bit of trivia regarding the history of our state whenever the subject of foundation repair comes around. You’re welcome.