Most people associate home foundation problems with moisture in basements and wet weather conditions. However, extended dry periods can also lead to serious foundation damage.

“Many homeowners do not realize the damage that dry weather inflicts upon the foundation of their home,” according to Otto Fleck, CEO of Dry Basement®. “Most people believe that water is the major cause of foundation movement. However, dry conditions cause the soil around a structure to shrink and contract, causing the foundation to sink. This movement causes major damage to the structure.”

Much of the Dry Basement® Foundation Repair service area in Missouri, Kansas and Iowa has been experiencing lower-than-average precipitation, according to the NOAA/National Weather Service. Most of the state of Kansas, southern Iowa and the northern half of Missouri have areas ranging from Abnormally Dry to Extreme Drought.

“We are seeing big cracks in the soil,” Fleck said. This is a sign that homeowners should start watering their foundations to prevent excessive movement.

Fleck recommends using a soaker hose to water your foundation. This hose is usually black, round, and filled with tiny holes. Water slowly seeps through holes and into the ground – it doesn’t spray into the air.

The hose should be placed 4 to 6 feet away from the foundation, not right next to it, Fleck said. “You have to be very careful. If a gap has formed between the foundation and the fill dirt around it and is very noticeable, you want to put the hose a little farther out.”

If you water right next to the foundation when it’s this dry, he said, the water will simply run straight down and into the basement. Be especially careful if it’s so dry that cracks in the soil extend into the yard.

Homeowners should water every day for several hours to keep their foundation safe, said Fleck. “They need to let the water seep deep into the soil.”

If signs of foundation settlement, such as cracks in walls or the foundation, are starting to appear in your home, call the professionals at Dry Basement® Foundation Repair at 816-741-8500 for a free inspection and evaluation, or contact us online.

Our estimators have been trained and certified by licensed structural engineers. They will talk with you, examine your foundation, and develop the best configuration to repair your foundation. We’ll include a written summary and cost estimate for fixing the problem.