If you need a foundation fix, it might be because of climate change (formally known as “global warming”) At least that is the gist of an article written last year that I ran across in the New York times.
We know that homes built on expansive clay soils that swell during rainy periods, then shrink during dry spells cause a lot of problems for concrete slab foundations.
What I didn’t know was that these periods of dry weather followed by heavy rains have become more frequent and possibly triggered by climate change according to this NY Times article. Really? Here is a quote:
“Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association indicates that since the 1990s there has been an accelerating trend nationwide toward more extended dry periods followed by downpours. Whether due to random climate patterns or global warming, the swings between hot and dry weather and severe rain or snow have profoundly affected soil underneath buildings.”
Oh. I’ve lived in North Central Texas for over 25 years and we’ve always had our share of wet and dry spells. And yes, my house foundation, like tens of thousands of others, sits on clay soils that are prone to shift.
Foundation repair needed because I drive a car and use electricity.
That’s another implication you can draw from this NY Times article:
“The question we need to ask is, are we building to cope with the enhanced weather events related to climate change,” said Brenda Ekwurzel, a climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit group advocating science-based solutions to environmental and health issues. “It’s obvious that we need to look at changing building codes worldwide to deal with this.”
Really? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for building codes that would produce a better home foundation, one that would not require underpinning a few years after construction. We are always going to have problems with concrete slabs on heavy clay soils that shrink and swell with dry then rainy periods of weather.
I just didn’t know I should be shaking my fist at “global warming.”
Here is the URL to the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/04/garden/04foundation.html
In the meantime, I’ll make sure my gutters take rain water away from my slab foundation and run the soaker hoses during the dry spells.
So what do you think about all this? Please leave a comment.