I came across a news story the other day from Fox News KFDX of Texas. I have embedded the link here for viewers to access.
If you will recall recently Texas has had a lot of rain….. including flooding. The new story deals with the aftermath of that heavy rain. It goes on to state that during the drought Mitchell Armstrong’s house was functioning quite normally. After this year’s heavy rains he noticed his house start to move excessively. As a matter of fact the movement was so great that it shows huge gaps that he is duct taping up on his front door.
Mitchell then goes on to attribute the problem to settlement due to humidity and moisture being absorbed in the wood of his house. The news segment goes on to interview the owner of a local foundation repair company who gives a rather muddled explanation to the phenomenon without really realizing the true cause of the problem.
This is a perfect example of how foundation misdiagnosis happens. Both the homeowner and the contractor do not clearly state the cause of the problem because in my opinion they either don’t understand it or don’t want to understand it. The paradigm of understanding these problems both from homeowners and contractors is that when you have house movement is automatically settlement. Not even giving a second thought to heave. Why is that?
From the homeowners perspective it is perfectly understandable because no one has ever suggested anything different to them. From the contractor’s perspective it is a problem that needs to be rectified. Why does the contractor not understand?
- No one has educated him properly about how heave can move foundations and look similar to settlement from a symptom perspective.
- He likely is not following any standardized investigation procedures accepted by any engineering consensus.
- There is very little likelihood of engineering oversight of his investigation.
- He in all likelihood has nothing of value to sell the homeowner to fix the heave problem and so frames his understanding in a way that lets him provide a solution that he can offer.
So here it is another perfect example of what I’ve been talking about for almost two years now.