Risk to Foundations from Dry, Cracked Land
LESLIE: Alright, well a lot of this country is seeing a ton of rain but some parts of the country are in heavy drought, like Doug in Alabama. What’s going on where you live?
DOUG: Well, we are in a heavy drought and I’ve got a concern. I was looking around right next to my house and I saw some big cracks in the ground kind of buckling and I was wondering if this could possibly affect my foundation in any way. It’s on a crawlspace and I was just wanting your opinion on whether maybe I should keep moisture there; you know closer to the house.
TOM: Doug, there are some parts of the country that have expansive soils that are impacted by the amount of moisture and those foundations have to be properly constructed to stand up to that but in your part of the country I don’t think that that’s the case and your home should be doing just fine because the foundation that it’s constructed upon is welled down deep in the soil below where the soil seems to be drying out and cracking, which is going to be on the surface. So I would say that it’s unlikely that that’s going to have any effect on your house whatsoever.
DOUG: OK, well that’s good to know and I guess probably moisture might be a bigger issue; maybe too much rain on the foundation.
TOM: Well that’s generally the problem we get lots of calls about; you know too much water; water, water, everywhere and it never seems to go where you want it. That’s why we speak so frequently about the importance of grading and drainage so that soil slopes away and runs water away from the foundation. Right now you’ve just got to kind of buckle in and wait til you get through this drought and everything will be back to normal.
DOUG: Well that sounds good. Well, I sure appreciate the information.
TOM: You’re welcome, Doug. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.