Can a Drought Cause Foundation Problems?

Long periods with no rain can create issues. The clay needs water to sustain its structure and without it will evaporate. The structure begins to shrink, leaving gaps and cavities between your home and the ground. Gradually, gravity pushes your home into the gaps. The process is what we call “settling” or “settlement.” Now, settling is a normal process, but a drought can hasten the production.

Ironically, after a drought, a lot of rain can be a risk as well. Expansive clay can absorb water too fast. That may result in swelling over short periods. The rapid change in the soil will actually promote cracks in your foundation.

Can a Drought Cause Foundation Problems?

Identifying Foundational Damage

You won’t need professional help to see if your house suffers from drought shrinkage. Look for these symptoms and signs.

  • Small issues in the concrete, steps, or sidewalks in the vicinity
  • Cracks in your exterior bricks, siding, or walls.
  • Damage in interior crowning, plaster, or walls.
  • Windows or doors not resting properly in frames.
  • Unstable floors.

Preventing Drought Damage to the Foundation

Foundation damage isn’t immediate. It takes place over time. Here are a few things to help minimize the damage.

  • Keep the soil surrounding the house hydrated. Several times a day, soak the soil with a hose or drip hose a few feet outside the foundation.
  • During droughts, local municipalities may put restrictions on water usage. Be efficient with water and take note to not have a significant runoff.
  • Water in short cycles as opposed to long ones.
  • Shrubs around the foundation help shade the soil and minimize evaporation.
  • Good mulch keeps moisture in the soil from evaporating too fast.

For four decades, Dodson Foundation has served the greater Dallas area in its foundation repair. We pride ourselves on providing honest, reliable, and transparent work. If you’ve been having foundation issue in Dallas, let us know right away.

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