Posts Tagged ‘ protecting your home against drought ’

How To Protect Your Homes Foundation through a Drought

Most people in Central Texas are constantly hearing news about our still current struggle with the droughts.  While most are thinking about the lake levels, overall water supply, and how to try and keep your lawn green, they left out what it can do to your homes foundation.

For homes already built the most common cause for foundation issues is expansive soil.  Because foundation soils are expansive, they will “heave” which can move the structure up when there is a high amount of moisture, causing it to “float”. On the other hand, when there are long periods of drought, the expansive soil will “break down”, causing settlement.  Common signs that there is foundation movement are cracks down interior or exterior walls, cracks in ceilings, or cracks on the concrete floor.

If you are purchasing some land consult with your builder about how the drought will affect your new foundation.  With the current drought that we are having, the soil underneath a home’s foundation can become dry and lose which can make it difficult for a house to be level.

Photo by LCRA

Photo by LCRA

So if your thinking of buying land, or already own an existing home here are some tips to help keep your foundation intact:

1. Water your foundation.
Run a soaker hose around the exterior of your home and let it run for a few hours each week (REMINDER TO OBSERVE WATER RESTRICTIONS). This will help you maintain the moisture levels in the soil around your home, keeping it from pulling away from your foundation.

2. Clean out or install guttering.
Maintaining moist soil around your foundation is important, but occasional downpours from a Austin thunderstorm can provide too much moisture too quickly. This causes soil to erode away from your foundation and creates problems.

3. Install Root Barriers.
Beware of large tree roots which can absorb a lot of moisture in the ground near the tree. If you have very large trees near your home, a drought can force tree root systems to reach further underneath your foundation in search of moisture. You may be able to install root barriers to prevent the roots from causing problems with your foundation.

Remember prevention is always better than a cure!

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