Sixty percent of Texas reportedly experienced drought conditions last week.
Extreme weather like droughts put home foundations in a compromised position.
Drought conditions can create new or exacerbate existing foundation problems for many homes.
Foundation repair companies have already seen increased evaluation requests during this year’s drought.
Extreme Weather Effects on the Foundation of a House
Most homes in Texas rest on top of soils. Different soils have varied reactions to weather conditions. Texas’s soil is generally more clay-rich than other parts of the country. Clay soils lose moisture more quickly than sandy soils because the particles are so tightly compacted.
As all types of soil dry out, they shrink. The earth can move away from the foundation and cause more pressure on your foundation. The pressure can cause the foundation to shift and houses to sink into the ground. The foundation will continue to change until it finds somewhere to land. It can happen to the entire foundation or only one side, making the floors inside the home uneven.
In extreme situations, this can break water and sewage lines or for a house to collapse.
Seasonal Changes Continue to Damage Structures
This year, drought conditions in the southern U.S. will likely persist, if not worsen, during the fall season. La Niña will lead to higher temperatures and below-average precipitation rates during the fall rainy season.
La Niña, meaning “Little Girl” in Spanish, refers to an environmental event characterized by colder oceanic temperatures. Cold waters in the Pacific lead to drier conditions in the southern United States. This phenomenon is the opposite of El Niño, “Little Boy,” which creates warmer temperatures and more rainfall.
Be Proactive in Taking Care of Foundations
Once signs of shifting become noticeable, affordable solutions become harder to obtain. Taking care of your foundation earlier rather than later can save thousands of dollars in home repairs. Checking the home’s foundation before issues creep in will be your best option for prolonged safety and financial security. Frequently inspect the perimeter of the house for gaps in the foundation.
The best way to prevent the soil from drying out is to try retaining the moisture in the ground surrounding the house. Watering your foundation can be a helpful way to protect it from damage. Keep lawns and plants close to the foundation steeped to retain moisture around the home.
Even if local governments implement water restrictions, taking shorter showers to protect the home’s foundation will be worth it. Be courteous and efficient with foundation watering, as well.
Detect Home Foundation Issues
Signs of foundation shifts will show from the outside, on the walls, and in other home areas. Performing regular inspections can identify issues before they worsen, causing more expensive repairs.
Be alert and keep an eye out for signs of damage. The earlier they’re spotted, the better the chance of saving money on the cost of the foundation.
Don’t wait to contact a local expert if these signs show up.