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Old 10-14-2008, 03:56 PM
RES RES started this thread
 
Location: San Antonio, Texas
34 posts, read 146,312 times
Reputation: 20

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We are having a problem our our street and the streets next to us. Our neighbors driveway sunk down about 3 inches at once, across the street the house had a cracked entry and foundation, and some type of emergency (and their aquarium shifted 1/4 inch). The same time, the grout between our shower/tub cracked and needs to be repaired...it was leaking before we even noticed it, but it's a pretty substantial crack. Our driveway had a repaired crack that widened and it about 2 inches wide. In our back yard we have noticed a few cracks/holes opening up but thought it was just dry or something.

Interestingly enough, we filed an insurance claim back in April because we suspected water damage to our hardwood floors. They could find no plumbing or sewer leak, and said it was probably moisture from the slab. (We think the previous owner may have installed it themselves and did not seal the slab.) anyways, the neighbor across the street (that had the cracked entry and foundation) has a natural spring in his backyard and said there are several around here. So I'm wondering if we have one also?

We moved here June of 2007 and would like to know if anyone else has had similar trouble. Does insurance cover this? Is there earthquake insurance? Don't they have to check that sort of thing before they build houses? The neighbor told me the city is "looking into some sort of fault line" and I've seen trucks out here. Would it be worthwhile to get all of us together? What could we even do?

Thanks for your input,

Renee
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:22 PM
 
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The clay "soil" in Fort Worth causes cracks in foundations and yards. The clay dries up after it rains and cracks, forming fissures. What neighborhood are you in?
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:14 AM
 
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ok--couple of ideas
there definitely could be a natural spring under your neighbor's house that was not addressed properly when the subdivision was developed--
home in neighborhood next to mine--which is over 20 yrs old--did the same thing...caused cracked foundation and required lot of remodel...

2) you had poor foundation construction and poor soil prep for development due to the developer taking the easy way out and the city (fort worth probably not in keller city limits I bet) failed to make sure that future problems were prevented by more expensive development on site
they probably trucked in fill dirt and did not properly pack it down before building foundations on it...now dirt is settling unevenly and the foundations are cracking...
3)there could be sinkhole in the area--Houston has them lots of places and there is basically almost nothing to stop them...

you need to get engineer to inspect the slab--I bet the people who sold house to you had good idea this was going on...but not anything you can do now and if you have any type of foundation/homeowners warranty it probably will cite pre-existing conditions and void policy...
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:41 PM
RES RES started this thread
 
Location: San Antonio, Texas
34 posts, read 146,312 times
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We lived in San Antonio for 8 years before moving here last year. I didn't think the soil was that different, although it is slightly less alkaline and there is not as much caliche here.

We live in Park Glen; Keller ISD but yes, Fort Worth. Starting with the house next to me, there is a line of 4 houses in a row (all across from and backing up to one another) that have these problems. I am not in that direct line; we are on the corner and on a bit of a little hill. We've got the problem on the opposite side of our house from the "line" of houses. But if you drive/walk around the neighborhood, you see many places where the sidewalks are all lopsided and the driveways are cracked, cracks in the streets, etc.

I wonder if the previous owner knew. They got a job in Grand Prairie and supposedly that is why they moved. The house was spotless when we moved in, and they had put in plantation shutters, hardwood floors, recently painted, etc. So, it looks like they were planning to stay.

We also had a problem with rats after we moved in. At first we saw them on the birdfeeder and on the neighbors windowsill outside. We live in a nice neighborhood, too. I thought they were mice and didn't think much of it. Last October we found one in our house when we got home from eating out one night--caught it and got rid of it. Then this spring, we had something nibbling produce in our kitchen. Caught a 6 inch rat in a trap! Then when it snowed in April, a huge granddaddy rat got in, and was living in my bedroom closet. Our house is clean! When I went to WalMart to get more traps, they were all sold out! And someone from church was there and said she was looking for traps also. Started hearing from lots of people that they are common here. I never in my life heard of rats getting in your house like that. We ended up calling a pest service and they trapped an 8 inch (body, not including the tail) male rat two feet from my bed. It had chewed the undersides of both of our closet doors and our bedroom door trying to get out into the house for food in the two or three days it was in our house.

Just recently we heard that the house catty-corner from us had a problem with the grass being overgrown in the backyard. I guess enough people complained, and they went in to help them cut it, and a neighbor told us that about 100 (!!!) rats came running out of the guy's yard and went everywhere. So that explains it. I have considered moving : )
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:17 PM
 
32,520 posts, read 50,996,385 times
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my first suggestion would be to get a cat and call the city about pest control
there is an infestation and even if the neighbor's grass was cut those rats could still be in the area
that is definitely a HEALTH risk--especially for children--rats have fleas and fleas are what carried the plague years ago in Europe...nasty, nasty....

personally I think your neighborhood probably has some poor development sub-structure
the developer who put in the streets did not build them strong enough to last--only minimum to pass city code..that is a problem with other subdivisions/developments in past 10 yrs but usually the most recent 5-6---
cities in TX and other states have found that the newer parts of their towns require resurfacing and work more frequently than the older sections where construction was done better...some of them have gone to tightening construction standards and assessing developers higher fees to off sent the work the city may have to do in the near future...

like I said--there is probably fill dirt under those slabs and it is compacting--fill dirt can come from anywhere the developer can get it--lots of time they ask for firee dirt--so if there is highway construction going on in the area--trucks will just dump in that area and then the developer grades it out...but construction can start quickly and with a post tension slab vs piered beam slab--which goes down supposedly to bedrock--there is more shifting when the ground expands and contracts

do you have a sprinkler system?

we have friends who used to live east of us in Bedford--every house on direct line with theirs had ground fault shift a few years before they sold it--all the foundations cracked to one extent or another-
they had to have foundation repaired--was not an issue with the guy who bought their house and they disclosed that it was repaired

I know someone who bought a new home in Colleyville neighborhood probably 15 yrs ago and within the first year, the house developed foundation problems--they finally took builder to court to make him take it back--that was before arbitration became the rule-- (that builder has changed the name of his company several times over the years because of all the suits he has undergone--but he is still building--don't you love the state of TX)...


personall I think Ft Worth has pretty lack city code
the town our new house is in is Hurst and from what I hear Hurst has very strong code enforcement...so I am hoping this house which is 3 yrs old--will have few problems as it ages...
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:30 PM
RES RES started this thread
 
Location: San Antonio, Texas
34 posts, read 146,312 times
Reputation: 20
Oh yes, I agree about the health issue. I went through quite a few tubs of Clorox wipes after that incident. We've got 4 kids. I would not doubt there are still rats in that yard. I was driving past one day and the garage door was open...they have bags of mulch or dirt like the ones at Home Depot/Lowes'...dozens of them, stacked all the way to the ceiling! My jaw dropped. I agree that the problem could be due to the fill they used. We looked at about 30 houses here and liked this one best...so I do like the house but not these other surprises I am finding. Funny thing, one of the reasons we chose this house was the schools--and now we are homeschooling. So we could really be living anywhere. We were planning to get a 2-5 acre property in the next 18 months and move, but with the economy we have kind of put that plan on hold until we see what happens.

Thanks for your input. You always have good information!
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:05 PM
 
32,520 posts, read 50,996,385 times
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good luck
Warren Buffet's words today will probably have a calming effect to certain extent but don't think this is over by a long shot--
frankly I don't know that you would be worse off by selling/buying now vs waiting 18 months...
some houses are holding their value...what about ones in your neighborhood--have you had lots of foreclosures--
and that house could be rental--there were plenty of speculators buying in Park Glen when it was being built--thinking they could flip the house while construction was running up the prices...

I think in 3-4 years hopefully after Obama is elected, there will be better situation regarding jobs and economy will be powered from within not just by people buying stocks and playing the market...or selling for war effort...

but for the next 12 months--people don't have a clue how long or how bad this unravalening will be...they are learning as they go to certain extent...the market could drop down to 7000 if something bad happens...
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Old 11-01-2008, 06:02 PM
RES RES started this thread
 
Location: San Antonio, Texas
34 posts, read 146,312 times
Reputation: 20
Anyone feel the earthquake just after midnight Thursday/Fri? I did...first one I've ever felt. I thought I was imagining things with all this talk of our house being in a fault zone and stuff. Next morning, my husband e-mailed me the headlines. It felt like the whole house was shaking for about 2-4 seconds. Nothing was knocked over, I just felt it.

Star-Telegram.com Search
That is a link to some of the headlines. We aren't even in Grand Prairie or Irving. We are in NE Fort Worth, near Keller and Watauga (Keller ISD).
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Old 11-01-2008, 08:32 PM
 
119 posts, read 473,554 times
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we never felt anything.
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Old 11-02-2008, 06:33 AM
 
32,520 posts, read 50,996,385 times
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my husband said he woke up about 1 am for no reason--but don't know how that time corresponds to earthquake
I know it did not wake our dog up--she was sleeping with us and did not bark or anything
thought animals were supposed to be more sensitive to those phenoms than humans...
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