Foundation Issues Are a Given, But Here’s What You Need to Look Out For

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In North Texas, foundation issues are pretty much a given. However, there are some things you should look for when home shopping.

Every week, the detail-oriented folks at Green Scene Home Inspections will give readers an education in inspection. Want to see what they see? Tune in  for “Upon Closer Inspection.”

When you’re buying a home, we advise people that the major areas of consideration are the roof, plumbing, electricity, HVAC, and the foundation. These are your bigger ticket items, so if something is amiss, you may have costly repairs on your hands at some point.

If you’re buying a home in North Texas, foundation issues are almost a given, so this is an area you’ll want to pay close attention to as you shop for homes. 

A deflection crack is caused by movement in the foundation.

In this shot, you can see a pretty vivid example of a deflection crack in the bricks caused by movement in the foundation. The same condition has created a crack across the driveway. There is likely a water line or something else there causing movement. This homeowner will want to have that evaluated and repaired.

One of the biggest causes of foundation issues is a leak under the slab. This image shows some pretty egregious floor buckling, likely caused by a sewer or water line leak under the house. These can be time-consuming and costly repairs.

Another indicator of foundation movement is when the floors are out of level. Watch as our Inspector blinds you with this highly scientific test.

Sometimes your issue could be caused by contractors or do-it-yourself repairs done without a full understanding of the foundation system. In this video, our inspector and a foundation expert get to the root of a problem in a pier-and-beam home.

Two Kinds of Foundations

There are two kinds of foundations found on homes in the DFW area: pier-and-beam and slab. Mostly found in homes built in the 1960s or earlier, a pier-and-beam foundation is comprised of footings (or piers) driven into the ground and secured by concrete bases, and beams that connect the piers. You can access a pier-and-beam foundation through the crawlspace under the house.

Homes built after 1970 most commonly have a concrete slab foundation or a “slab-on-grade” foundation.  A thick layer of concrete is laid directly on the ground with steel tension rods going through it for extra support. 


Joanna England

If Executive Editor Joanna England could house hunt forever, she absolutely would. Instead she covers the North Texas housing market and the economy for While she started out with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Joanna's work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News as well as several local media outlets. When she's not knitting or hooping, or enjoying White Rock Lake, she's behind the lens of her camera. She lives in East Dallas with her husband, son, and their furry and feathered menagerie.

Reader Interactions


  1. FestinaLente says

    The floor of my 1920s East Dallas house is out of level, bit outside of tolerance. There are cracks around windows and doors. Some doors stick slightly. I freaked. I called 2 different structural engineers. They both told me the foundation is absolutely solid. I still freaked, and called a foundation repair guy – just in case both engineers had been wrong somehow. The foundation guy told me nothing needs done. I’ve learned to live with my cra(n)ky house and now figure that if it’s stood that many years, it’ll likely continue to be fine, cracks be damned.

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