I was looking at a map from the US National Weather Service that showed almost a third of the country in drought conditions that range from “excessively dry” to “exceptional drought.” Not good.
And to make matters worse, many areas included in the drought also have homes built on shrink/swell heavy clay soils. That means when the soils dry out, house foundations start moving, usually dropping.
Things the homeowner will start to notice are cracks in the sheet rock inside and in brick veneers outside. Doors and windows that don’t work the way they used to and are supposed to, and in the worst cases, floors starting to slope.
It’s happening again at my house too.
Extended dry conditions like this provide plenty of work for foundation repair companies, but what about the homeowner?
Here are 5 Foundation Repair Issues To Be Aware Of
First. Do your best to keep the soil around your slab foundation evenly moist. This means installing soaker hoses around the perimeter of the home foundation and being diligent about running them.
Second. Consider using root barriers to keep nearby trees from removing moisture under and near your foundation. A large tree can take a lot water out of the soil.
Third. Be aware of fly-by-night foundation repair companies. They tend to sprout up during droughts like roofers after a hail storm. It doesn’t take much to slap a sign on the side of a truck, buy some tools and say you can do the fix foundation thing. Get at least three estimates from reputable foundation contractors.
Fourth. Only use a foundation repair company that offers and honors a transferable warranty. Some companies have been known to shut down business and open under a different name to avoid honoring warranties. Around here we call them sleaze-balls.
Fifth. Think about hiring an independent structural engineer with no financial ties to any foundation repair companies to inspect your home foundation. It will cost a few hundred dollars but could save you a lot of money in the long run. Make sure the engineer has experience with residential foundation issues.