3 Signs of Foundation Damage — and 5 Prevention Tips

Cracks on a wall can indicate damage to a home’s foundation.

Water near your home’s foundation is a problematic combination. From leaking pipes to flooding issues, water is usually the culprit when it comes to causing damage in homes.

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

    Danny Lipford is among the country’s most sought-after home improvement experts.
    The seasoned remodeling contractor and media personality served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s “The Early Show” and The Weather Channel for over a decade and has made more than 180 national television appearances on “Fox & Friends,” “Inside Edition,” “Morning Express with Robin Meade,” Fox Business Channel, Rachael Ray and more.
    He travels the country making appearances as a brand ambassador and spokesperson, and each year contributes expertise to hundreds of popular magazines and online media outlets.

    Chelsea Lipford Wolf is a born-and-raised home enthusiast, adding her crafty skills and passion for DIY as co-host of the top-rated, nationally syndicated “Today’s Homeowner” TV show.

    In addition, Chelsea maintains her own home lifestyle and décor blog and award-winning web-series, “Checking in with Chelsea.”

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