Guide to Know How a Drought Can Damage your Home Foundation

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

Floods, hurricanes, and tornadoesTexas is known for its fair play with natural disasters. Though the effects of a storm are immediate, droughts cause less obvious damage. Droughts hurt crops and increase the likelihood of wildfires. Drought conditions persist through the summer across many western states- National Weather Service reports exclaim. 

Droughts result from several factors—these impact the businesses, communities, and people’s lives in different ways. Droughts, however, have much more personal and direct effects on Texans. The results don’t limit to farmlands- they can also reach your home sweet home. Or, beneath your home- to be more precise. 

If you’re a homeowner in a drought-prone area, you’re probably monitoring the water usage. But, why only this? It would help if you are thinking well ahead of time to prevent fires and ensure safety. Thus, maintaining a landscape with drought tolerance in mind plays a pivotal role. Quite a lot to think about? Well, add another to the list- your foundation. 

A drought threatens your home structure’s integrity in many ways. However, the worst part lies in hefty repair costs that take a dig at your pockets, especially when not caught early. Read on this guide to find out the most common signs of stress or damage in your home. 

What’s happening under your house?

During the persisting dry conditions, the soil tends to lose its moisture content—the soil shifts and buckles, resulting in the foundation cracking. The ground soaks up the rain, causing expansion and lifting. If your house has tree roots beneath, these are most likely to draw moisture from the soil, increasing the problem. 

What are the common signs you need to identify?

You may notice the settling of your house and the appearance of cracks in the foundation. The essence of affordable remedies has become few and far between. The Foundation Repair professionals may come and lift your portions to bring them back into their original place. The most common methods they employ are piering and slabjacking. 

So, how can you exactly check your understructure suffering from drought shrinkage? Well, you’ll be glad to know that you can inspect the same for several signs and symptoms. Some of the most common ones are:

  • Broken pipes
  • Misalignment and sticking of doors and windows
  • Basement Leaks
  • Rigid wall surface cracks like tile, drywall, concrete, and stucco.
  • Cabinets, outdoor trims, and baseboard gaps
  • Sinking or sloping floors.
  • Cracks in the basement floors
  • Cracked or shifted chimneys
  • Asphalt and pavement cracks on walkways or driveways.

How can you check for a drought-damaged foundation?

It becomes essential to note that an uneven base may lead to unevenness in the floors as well. You can spot the same with the use of a bubble level. All you’ve to do is place it on the floor portion wherever you suspect a slope. You can also perform a marble test. Just place the marble or any other small round object on the floor and see the place it rolls and settles. If the ball doesn’t move in one particular direction, enjoy the bliss of a perfect foundation. 

You can also look at the soil to evaluate the damage. Just walk around your house perimeter and look for any visible gaps between your soil and concrete foundation. You may be pretty lucky to notice the signs of shrinkage. And, the best thing is you can do something to prevent it from getting worse. Yes, these problems are a result of many factors. Some of these result from drainage issues, clay shrinkage, inadequate pre-construction soil preparations, and plumbing leaks. Thus, prevention is better than cure, and you can eliminate home base problems with some rock-solid tips. These are:

  • Drain the water away from the house:

Never allow the collection of water near the house. The soil can expand dramatically and lay stress on your walls. Thus, install in-ground drains to help ease the ponding water. The water will collect within some depressions that may retain moisture near the foundation and discharge the same somewhere else. 

  • Ensure Watering the Foundation:

To maintain the understructure, ensure that the soil around it doesn’t get too dry. The soil expands and contracts when the ground becomes dry, which eventually causes cracks. The contraction process makes the understructure unstable. 

Thus, you can eliminate the risks of damage by implementing a watering system. Doing this will help in preventing the risks associated with expansions and contractions. Ensure watering the foundation, especially during the drier and warmer climates. You can water the same in many ways. 

You can either use a simple method like a garden hose and sprinkler or use complex ones like an understructure watering system or lawn sprinkler system. The methods of keeping the dirt around the structure moist are manifold. All you’ve to do is set the seal on a technique you find the easiest and most convenient. 

  • Embed the Foundation:

The repair experts suggest embedding the foundation up to 2 inches right from the slab top. You can also use mulch for retaining the moisture. Keep the compacted soil around the base to maintain the humidity during the dry months. 

  • Ensure annual plumbing inspections:

One of the biggest causes of base failure is plumbing problems. These issues take place under the foundation slabs. You also tend to notice these as leaks under the sprinkler systems, freshwater lines, and other parts of the plumbing systems. You’d never want to hear that, but these invite foundation damages and costly repairs. Contact your plumber to perform an inspection if you ever suspect leaks. Nevertheless, it would help if you considered inspecting your plumbing system yearly to ensure proper maintenance and working. 

The Bottom Line:

These tips are sure to help you prevent future problems for both commercial and residential buildings. The entire essence of preventing base problems begins with building the same with the right quality materials. The usage of fine products helps to create a durable, long-lasting understructure. You can also consider hiring foundation repair experts as they help you take precautionary measures today to build a strong foundation for tomorrow!

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