Hot Dry Summers and Their Impact on Your Foundation

August 19, 2016 9:36 pm Published by Jane Azzinaro

Most people are concerned about their basement during the spring rains or winter melt downs when water invades their home.  Homeowners relax when we go through dry spells because there is no water to damage their belongings.  Unfortunately, summer can be more damaging to a home’s foundation than the actual water seepage. This is why it is important for experts like Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing to check your basement, foundation or crawl space for damage even when it dry outside.

Your home is supported on four main points.  First is the floor which holds the base of the wall from sliding inward. Next, the corners which interlock to form a pier-like support. Third, the ceiling joists that hold the top of the wall from sliding inward and finally, the earth that surrounds your home forms a brace to keep the walls from expanding out.  Earth normally has moisture in it. Water takes up space.  When there is too much water in the soil it tries to invade your home. This is why as a house ages you may see water begin to show up inside your home.

When there is a lack of water, the earth shrinks away from your foundation.  Think of a potted house plant you forget to water.  After a while the earth shrinks away from the side of the pot.  Your home weights 60 to 120 tons- with all of that weight pressing down on the eight inch wide foundation. Take away one area of your four main points of support and you put stress on the foundation. Stress like this causes cracks.

Even hairline cracks are symptoms of a potential major problem.  Foundation cracks grow with time because your home’s foundation will not be stable. Just like a crack in a sidewalk a foundation crack will continue until it eventually passes through the entire concrete foundation.  For a visual, take 2 dry erase markers, the kind whose caps interlock. Put one marker on top of the other, locking the cap of one into the bottom of the other. Now take your finger nail and make a space one side between the two. Put the bottom on the table and press down from the top – Boom they fly apart. Think of a crack in your foundation with 60 to 120 tons pressing down.

Most experts agree cracks in a foundation show an unsound foundation.  Add the shrinking soil around your home pulling away one of the foundation’s supports and you can see that summer can be just as bad, if not worse, on a foundation’s health as winter can. Stay well informed and take action before the cracks arise so you can manage your home instead of running to stay ahead of the maintenance of a broken foundation. Now is the time to have it looked at by the experts of Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing before the rain arrives.

Categorised in:

This post was written by Jane Azzinaro