It seems everywhere we turn these days there is news about the effects of the drought on our homes’ foundations. It’s true that the lack of moisture in the soil causes it to shrink, which can create gaps around and under foundations. The resulting problems can range from minor cracking to significant structural damage.
Five common indications of foundation issues include:
- Cracks in drywall and moldings
- Doors and windows that won’t open or close properly
- Cracks in brick or stone veneers
- Slopes or humps in floors
- Cracks in foundation walls
What can be done to help prevent or repair these problems? You can start by “watering your foundation” – running water along your foundation walls. A soaker hose works well. This will moisten the soil, causing it to expand and increasing the support available. Watering needs to be done early and often during drought conditions in order to be effective. If damage has already occurred, piering and/or mudjacking may be required. These are potentially expensive repairs that should be done by a professional. If you have concerns, we recommend consulting with a structural engineer before getting bids on any foundation work.