When people think of drought, they often think of dry soil and even tumbleweeds rolling by. However, a drought doesn’t just mean that the soil and plants suffer. The truth is, drought damage can be a serious problem for your San Antonio foundation, and even lead to pier and beam repair. When there is not enough water in the soil, your foundation will suffer. Here’s how it happens, and how you can prevent it.
Drought Damage From Soil Issues
You might think that soil is solid, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The constitution of soil changes depending on how much moisture it is holding. It is always expanding and contracting, and placing pressure on your foundation. Sometimes, that pressure can get extreme. If the soil shifts away from the building, then the foundation can shift right along with it. When this happens, the piers that support your home will move, which can lead to cracks in your foundation.
If the soil is too dry, it causes this pulling away effect. The foundation becomes unsupported, and can shift to one side or the other. It doesn’t have to shift very much for there to be significant drought damage requiring pier and beam repair. When this happens, your best option is to contact a professional foundation repair company.
One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is to apply moisture to the soil yourself. During a drought, set up a sprinkler every couple of days to soak the soil around your home and keep it properly saturated.
Tree roots are a big cause of drought damage to foundations. Just as moisture can affect the soil, it can affect the roots of trees near your home as well. When there is insufficient moisture, the roots will start to stretch away from the plant, looking for more water for nourishment. Sometimes, these roots will hit your foundation and continue pushing and even burrowing into the slab.
To prevent questing tree roots from damaging your foundation and creating the need for pier and beam repair, you can install certain prevention barriers. These barriers will block runaway roots from getting to your foundation. The other option is moving any plants away from the building so that their roots cannot reach.
How to Tell If Drought Is Damaging Your Home
There are several signs to look for during a drought to identify whether you have a damaged foundation. For instance, you might notice that your doors and windows are sticking. This can happen when a building starts to shift. You may also find that you have cracks in your drywall or that your foundation wall is bowed. Cracks can appear in brickwork on the outside of your home as well. If any of these symptoms occur, you will need to call a professional for help.
If you are planning any home repairs or renovations, it’s best to wait until after your drought damage issue has been addressed. If you install new windows or doors, they may get ruined quickly because of the building shifting. If you install plumbing through the foundation, you could end up with burst pipes and other plumbing issues. Make sure that your foundation is solid and sound before embarking on any projects.
As always, if you are unsure about your foundation, call Arredondo for help. Our experts will make sure that your foundation is in good shape, and make any necessary repairs if it isn’t.