We're off and running with a new year. Resolutions are going strong. You don't miss eating bread, rice and potatoes, do you? You are still making it to the gym in the morning, waiting for the rest of the crowd to drop out while you keep going, focused on your goal. And so far so good on keeping your budget intact. Just another 11 months to go.
New decade, new you.
All best laid plans start with a foundation. Built on sand, the foundation will shift. Built on good soil and the plans you put down can last awhile and turn into accomplishment.
Whether you've already laid that foundation toward your goals without needing inspiration from a new year or if you find the end of one year and the start of another as an opportune time to make some changes, you know one thing is certain: Life happens.
In the case of Texas soil, shift happens and it often occurs during the winter months.
With the temperature often switching from really cold to warm and sometimes unseasonably warm back to cold, contraction and expansion in the clay soil is common.
If your home sits on a pier-and-beam or concrete slab, this type of activity could lead to cracks in the foundation and cause costly repairs if not properly maintained.
Does My Policy Cover This Type of Foundation Repair?
In Texas, most homeowners insurance policies will cover the cost of repairing a foundation in the case of certain events like fire, explosions, and water damage from heating or plumbing. We call those named "perils" in the insurance world.
However, there are certain occurrences, or perils, that though it would seem like they would be covered, usually aren't.
Shifting soil and faulty construction are not usually covered by a typical Texas homeowners insurance policy. And while earthquakes and floods are candidates for causing significant foundation damage, they usually require their own insurance policy.
You will want to make certain when you are purchasing a home to hire a quality and qualified inspector to assess the foundation properly. If the inspector determines an issue, you may choose not to move forward with the purchase in lieu of costly repairs the homeowner would need to make before you move in.
However, renegotiating the price of the home that requires these repairs to be made may serve your interest.
And since soil movement is in fact a moving target, even if you move forward and purchase the home or have lived in your existing home awhile, it is wise to have the foundation inspected every so often to know the current condition.
What can you do to properly maintain your soil and its potential effects on your foundation during the winter months?
It all starts and ends with keeping the moisture level as consistent as possible around your home’s foundation and making certain no leaks (exterior or interior), tree roots or pipes are contributing to shifting.
Having a year-round irrigation plan for your soil is key. Keeping gutters and downspouts from pooling water helps to keep your foundation free from excess water. Taking notice of the weather and its effects on your soil and adjusting your irrigation based on the expansion and contraction helps the most.
We are Texas homeowners and we know the Texas two-step of cold to warm weather. We'll be glad to talk soil, but we'll more than glad to talk about what kind of coverage your home needs in the case there are gaps in your insurance leaving you exposed to perils that can easily be covered by insurance. As a local, independent insurance agency, we offer an insurance review and match homeowners like you with great coverage at the best value. Notice we didn't say cheap home insurance.
That serves as our foundation for helping you and it is one that doesn't shift.
Happy New Year and best wishes on those goals for 2020.