But did you know drought conditions can also cause big problems?
Think of the soil around and underneath your home like a sponge. When hydrated, it’s full. When it loses moisture and dries out, it contracts and gets smaller. This can cause the foundation of your home to shift, crack, or even sink.
Shifting of the foundation can cause damage to pipes. Cracks in the foundation, ironically, could lead to eventual water and flooding issues during heavy rains.
When the rain finally falls, the soil will swell and lift the home, but not always evenly — leading to problems such as a “taco-ing” effect where the home’s walls are higher than the center.
Brick homes are particularly susceptible to damage because they are heavier — and put more pressure on the ground below.
Know the Signs
Do you wonder if a drought has affected your home’s foundation?
Check these signs:
- Uneven or sloping floors
- Wall cracks and gaps between moldings and walls
- Doors and windows that stick, and suddenly don’t open or close properly
What You Can Do
You can take steps to prevent or minimize drought-related damage to your home.
Just follow these tips:
- Keep the soil around your foundation hydrated
- Run a soaker hose around the perimeter of your home (8-18 inches from the foundation)
- Set a timer on the hose to water daily
- Water during the evening or nighttime hours to avoid quick evaporation
- If you live in a drought-prone area, consider adding shrubs and a thick layer of mulch to help retain moisture