North Texas is known for expansive soils. These are clay type soils that expand and contract more than average with varying moisture content. These soils contract as they and expand when wet. Maintaining a constant soil moisture content around the periphery of a home is important if it is built on these types of soils. This helps prevent the settling and heaving of the underlying soil that can cause cracks in the foundation, binding doors, binding windows, cracks in interior and exterior walls, and other indicators of adverse foundation performance. The purpose of a a sprinkler system is not only to maintain the yard but also to keep a constant moisture content in the soils surrounding the foundation. Unfortunately, many homes in this area are affected by adverse foundation performance. So, what do you need to do if you see cracks in interior or exterior walls, excessive settling, binding doors or windows, or other indicators of adverse foundation performance? Many people will respond to the many local advertisements and call a foundation company. While there are certainly some good foundation companies in this market, calling a foundation company to assess your problem can be a little bit of a conflict of interest. This kind of conflict of interest frequently occurs when the company or person doing the evaluation of the problem is also the one selling the repair. Foundation companies only make money when they install piers or do other repairs. Calling them for an evaluation can lead to you buying expensive repairs you don't need. A local foundation engineer I know actually advised me that about 95% of the foundation repairs performed in the north Texas area are unnecessary. In fact, most foundation problems are actually drainage problems and can frequently be fixed by addressing poor drainage. I always recommend calling a licensed engineer that practices in the area of foundation evaluations. The engineer will do an evaluation in accordance with the American Society of Civil Engineers standards and will provide a written report with an engineering stamp on it. An engineer's evaluation poses no conflict of interest since they are not selling the repair. Such an independent evaluation will cost a bit more, but it may save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Please contact us if you need the names of engineers engage in this are of practice in the north Texas area.