Dry Soil & Your Foundation

As we start getting into the dog days of summer here in the Midwest, the rain showers and thunderstorms become few and far between. The lack of moisture doesn’t only have adverse effects on crops and livestock, the foundation of your home or business may also suffer.

 

The clay-based soils which are typical in our area are susceptible to changes in moisture content. Wet conditions cause soils to expand, and dry conditions cause soils to contract. As soil contracts, it pulls away from the foundations on homes and businesses, allowing settling to occur. Often, this settlement results in a gap along the foundation wall, which exposes more soil to airflow, possibly resulting in even more drying and settlement. When the rain does return, the gap between the soil and foundation wall may allow water to run down the gap and along the foundation wall, which may result in basement water intrusion or washout under the foundation.

Signs that your property may be settling are:

  • Bricks or walls cracking

  • Drywall separating

  • Stair step cracks in masonry mortar joints

  • Space between wall baseboard and floors

  • Chimneys tilting or leaning

  • Garage leaning

  • Caulking tearing at windows or doors

  • Windows and doors sticking

  • Roof or basement leaking

If you believe your property may have foundation issues due to settling, it is important to contact professionals to address this issue before more damages occur.