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Organizing your community to bring public attention to builders bad deeds and seeking assistance from local, state and federal elected officials has proven to be more effective and much quicker for thousands of families. You do have choices and alternatives.  Janet Ahmad

Editorial: Myths of watering foundations
Tuesday, 31 October 2006

The myths of watering foundation and under designed slabs
Too much rain, lack of rain, trees and other “Acts of God” exposed as a fairy tale
It has been well established that foundation failures are widespread.  Critics claim that in most cases foundation failures are the result of an unregulated industry, unskilled labor and builders cutting corners for the sake of higher profits...We have it on good authority that the excuse for foundation failures caused by too much rain, lack of rain or trees is a fairy tale, and that “Acts of God” are acts of man in order to increase builder profits.

Editorial:
The myths of watering foundations and under designed slabs.
Too much rain, lack of rain, trees and other “Acts of God” exposed as a fairy tale.

It has been well established that foundation failures are widespread.  Critics claim that in most cases foundation failures are the result of an unregulated industry, unskilled labor and builders cutting corners for the sake of higher profits.

In recent years numerous experts have testified extensively about the increased problem of builders cutting corners and that the foundation is the first example given.
It has also been acknowledged by engineers that home foundations are being designed to less stringent standards in order to build them cheaper.

Because of so many homeowner complaints describing foundation failures the American Society of Engineers asked for comments and recommendations from all engineer in Texas .   The consensus of those engineers who participated was to beef up foundations by designing stiffer slabs.  The results were astounding; the recommended guideline changes would increase foundation strength by 2700% at an estimated cost of only a $1,000 for a 2,500 square foot one story home or a 5,000 square foot two story. 

However, the disgraceful response by the building industry to its critics is that homeowners have a maintenance responsibility to water their foundations to protect the structural integrity of their homes.

At a recent Texas building standards public hearing, a
committee member described how homeowners are instructed by the builder to put a soaker hose around the perimeter of the home, and never turn it off in order to keep the foundation from cracking and to keep it stable.  He then asked how much water was needed to maintain a foundation. The well renowned engineer responded; you can not maintain a foundation by watering it because “you can never water enough.” 

It was then pointed out that the cost of water over even a relatively short period of time would far exceed the cost of $1,000 to stiffen the foundation significantly when it is built. 

So finally we have it on good authority that the excuse for foundation failures caused by too much rain, lack of rain or trees is a fairy tale, and that “Acts of God” are acts of man in order to increase builder’s profits.
 
Texas has highly expansive soils as well as many other states however, no other place but Texas are homeowners instructed to "water their foundations."  Other states officials and experts laugh when they hear that in Texas homeowners are blamed for foundation failures because they didn ' t properly water their foundations.

The solution to the expansive soil problem is to engineer foundations adequately to withstand the adverse effects of expansive soil or not build homes where those soils exist. 

In the meantime, if nothing is done new homebuyers are at risk, and the new home foundation problem will continue to worsen while builder profits take priority.

 
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Reckless Endangerment
BY: GRETCHEN MORGENSON
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