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7 Warning Signs of Foundation Damage Caused by Drought

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Severe droughts can wreak havoc on various aspects of our lives, and one often overlooked area is the structural integrity of our homes. When the earth beneath our homes becomes excessively dry and shrinks, it can significantly damage the foundation. In this blog post, we will explore the potential structural damages caused by droughts, the warning signs homeowners should look for, and the solutions provided by experienced foundation repair contractors to remedy these problems.

Severe Drought

The Effects of Drought on a Home’s Foundation

Soil Shrinkage

During prolonged dry periods, the soil beneath our homes loses moisture and shrinks. As a result, the foundation can settle, sink, or shift, causing cracks and other structural damage. This soil shrinkage is particularly problematic in regions with expansive clay soils, as they are more susceptible to volume changes when exposed to extreme dryness.

Foundation Cracks

Cracks in the foundation are common symptoms of drought-induced structural damage. These cracks may appear in various forms, including hairline cracks, stair-step cracks in masonry, or wider horizontal cracks. They can compromise the stability and load-bearing capacity ofDrought the foundation, leading to uneven floors, jammed doors, and windows that are difficult to open or close.

Uneven Foundation

Drought can cause differential settlement, where different foundation sections sink or settle at different rates. This unevenness can result in sloping or sagging floors and misaligned door frames and windows. Moreover, it can create gaps between the foundation and the walls, which may lead to water seepage during rainy seasons from March through July in the Carolinas.

Warning Signs of Foundation Damage

It is crucial for homeowners to be vigilant and look out for the following warning signs that may indicate structural damages caused by drought:

1. Visible cracks in the foundation, walls, or floors.
2. Doors and windows that stick or no longer close properly.
3. Uneven or sloping floors.
4. Gaps between the foundation and the walls.
5. Cracked or bulging exterior brickwork.
6. Separation of caulking around windows and doors.
7. Plumbing issues, such as leaks or backups.

Solutions Provided by Foundation Repair Contractors

If your home experiences structural damages due to dry, hot weather, it is essential to consult a professional foundation repair contractor. These experts possess the knowledge, skills, and tools to effectively address foundation issues. Here are some common solutions they may employ:

  1. Foundation Underpinning
    One method used to stabilize a compromised foundation is underpinning. This involves installing helical piers deep into the ground beneath the foundation to support and lift it back to its original position.
  2. Foundation Leveling
    In cases where a slab foundation has settled unevenly, polyurethane foam injection can be utilized. This process involves strategically drilling dime-sized holes into the affected slab and injecting polyurethane into those holes. The foam begins to expand immediately, fills the voids, and raises the slab to level and support the foundation, preventing further settlement and addressing issues such as sloping floors. It’s important to note that while polyurethane foam is an effective solution for certain types of foundation settling, it may not be suitable for all situations. 
  3. Foundation Crack Repair
    Foundation repair contractors can employ various techniques, such as epoxy injection or carbon fiber reinforcement, to repair cracks in the foundation. These methods help restore the foundation’s structural integrity and prevent further damage.
  4. Soil Moisture Management
    To mitigate the effects of future droughts, foundation repair contractors may recommend implementing measures to manage soil moisture around the home. This can include proper grading, drainage system installation, and moisture-retaining landscaping techniques.

Droughts significantly threaten the structural integrity of our homes, particularly the foundation. Homeowners must know the warning signs of foundation damage and seek professional assistance promptly. Foundation repair contractors have the expertise to provide appropriate solutions, such as underpinning, polyurethane foam injection, crack repair, and soil moisture management. By addressing these issues promptly, homeowners can protect their homes from further damage and ensure a stable and secure living environment for years.

Schedule your FREE ESTIMATE now and let our specialists pinpoint the problem and prevent future issues so you can avoid costly repairs.

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