Summer, Heat & Your Home’s Foundation
Summer weather can have a significant impact on your foundation. As the weather heats up, warmer temperatures, rain, dry soil, and other factors can cause your foundation to fall apart and fail. Hot summer temperatures can dry the soil around your house faster than you may realize.
This is a particularly common problem for structures built atop clay and other expansive soils. The warmer weather can dry soil out quickly and make it shrink and pull away from your foundation. As the soil shrinks, it can cause small cracks in the foundation to widen and further weaken the concrete. The end result is that the foundation will no longer be level, and a noticeable slope may appear.
Signs Your Foundation is Faltering
There are many signs to look for that can indicate your foundation is shifting or settling. Some are subtle, but most are obvious and easily detected. Common signs to look for include cracks within the foundation or interior drywall. You may also notice cracks in exterior brickwork or moldings that are coming loose from the structure.
More subtle signs include doors that are starting to stick, tiles in the kitchen or bathroom that are buckling, cracks in the sheetrock, uneven floors, and gaps that are starting to form around windows. Often, these subtle signs point to more serious problems, and the longer you delay a foundation repair, the more challenging and costly the repair can become.
Finally, pay attention to the direction of cracks. Settlement cracks are almost always vertical, and cracks in the foundation will typically start at the sides of a foundation.
Tips to Prevent Foundation Problems
It may seem odd to water a concrete foundation, but watering the soil around your home for 15-20 minutes on a hot day can keep the soil wet, thus preventing it from drying out. Watering the soil is an inexpensive solution to a costly problem. When you water, make sure to do it early in the morning or in the early evening when the moisture can sink into the soil rather than evaporating into the air.
You will also want to remove any trees or large bushes near the foundation that can damage the concrete as the roots grow and dig deeper through the soil. Not only can the roots cause damage, but the amount of moisture they consume can also dry out the soil beneath the surface.
You will also want to make sure that your drain pipes are positioned to deposit rainfall away from the structure. If your foundation is not properly waterproofed, too much rain or watering can result in pooling water, wet walls, and the growth of mold and mildew.
When to Call the Foundation Repair Professionals
It is advisable to contact a foundation repair specialist as soon as you suspect damage to your foundation. Every day you delay is a day that the damage can spread throughout the foundation. And foundations will continue to sink until they settle upon soil that can support it again. The deeper it goes, the more unstable the structure will become.
Often, making the call early can limit the damage to one part of the foundation. In most cases, this means faster, less costly repairs are required to permanently correct the problem and prevent it from recurring in the future.
Contact Carolina Foundation Solutions at 1-877-770-7050 to learn more about the ways summer weather will affect your foundation in North Carolina and South Carolina. Our team will answer your questions and help you take steps to protect your property from damage.