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Dry Soil & Foundation Damage – What You Need To Know

Most homeowners understand what drought conditions can do to their yards and gardens, however, not enough know that drought can cause a cracked foundation and other issues. 

Too much moisture, or too little, can cause major issues for your foundation. Drought damage can occur when the soil around the foundation becomes too dry, making it more compact which will leave space around the blocks.  A gap along the wall, through time, may allow airflow that will dry the soil under the foundation. The foundation’s support is removed as the soil shrinks, which may stress the concrete enough to cause a crack to form. The gap between the soil and basement wall also allows water from rain to run down the wall and may result in basement water intrusion.

There are certain signs to look for that indicate that your foundation might be failing. These signs include cracks in the wall, plaster, or siding, windows and doors that stick, a slope in your home, or separating brickwork. You may also notice cracks in your drywall or gaps in your trim. If you are unsure, then contact a professional right away to assess the situation. 

Drought damage occurs when the soil is too dry and starts to compact. To minimize this problem, maintain a relatively constant moisture content in the soil around the house. Water the soil evenly around the entire foundation during extended dry periods if the soil is pulling away from the basement wall.  “Do not apply water directly into the gap because this may cause water intrusion into the basement,” says Ken Hellevang, agricultural engineer. “Instead, apply water 1 to 2 feet away from the foundation edge. A soaker-type hose permits applying water to the soil without getting it on the house wall. Apply the water slowly with rest periods of several hours to permit the water to gradually soak into the soil to a depth of several feet.”

A cracked foundation isn’t something that should be a DIY project. Call the experts for help if you think that your foundation has been damaged. A professional can accurately diagnose a foundation issue and come up with the best and safest strategy for repairing it properly. 
(PR Arredondogroup & unl.edu)

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