Foundation Repair and the Drought-5 Tips for Homeowners

dried up clay soilsDroughts are hard on the home foundation, no question about it.

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.

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Foundation Repair Maintanence with Soaker Hoses-7 Ways Homeowners Do it Wrong


    • Stella
    • November 3, 2011

    I am looking for information on a house that has had 42 bell piers installed 9 years ago. There is a lifetime transferable warranty, but after 10 years it will cost $45 to adjust necessary piers to tighten the slab. We are purchasing the house and have had the inspections done. The inspector notes some sloping and doors that will not stay open. I am wondering what, if anything, you have heard or read about this issue of retightening. I am meeting with the foundation company today. Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks for you site! Estella

  1. Stella,
    I could find no information on “re-tightening” a foundation. Perhaps they meant re-shimming, which would mean adding a piece or two of steel between the pier and the slab to restore any lift being lost due to settling. I’m also guessing they wanted $45 per pier to do this. Please let us know what what they told you, if there was any good information you could pass along.

    • juliette
    • December 5, 2011

    It’s important to be able to keep track of how much water you are using and how much of an effect the changes you make have to begin saving water. It’s called the AbsolutelyNew Water saver, you can read more about it here:

  2. Thumbs up for sharing those 5 foundation repair issues that home owners should be aware of. In this way, they can save money and foundation problems will be fixed immediately.

    • terry
    • October 29, 2012

    If you are a contractor, make sure these guys pay in advance. They owe my plumbing company over $14,000 and refuse to pay. They use delay and avoidance tactics and lie to your face. They are very arrogant and from what I understand, are in major debt and are teetering on bancrupcy. I would not put much faith or validity in any warranties or guarantees they claim to back. They now use only plumbing companies that test for free in hopes of getting the job for any repairs of leaking systems. How many plumbing tests do you think the plumbers will report as failed, since getting the repairs is the only way they make any money? Can you say,conflict of interest? Very corruptand dishonest business with no moral integrity or ethics what so ever. DO NOT trust Perma-Pier Foundation Repair Company. You ll be sorry if you do!!!

  3. Thanks for finally writing about > Foundation Repair and The Drought- 5 Tips For Homeowners | Repair My Foundation-A Homeowner’s Look at the
    Options < Loved it!

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