July 01, 2021
Texas summers are notorious for their sweltering heat. As humans, we’re mobile enough to seek relief indoors. But what about our homes themselves? They’re expected to provide shelter and stand strong, no matter how harsh the conditions get outdoors.
Unfortunately, houses are seriously vulnerable to rising temperatures. Their foundations are especially at risk of damage when the heat reaches extremes.
Hot spells are a danger to foundations mainly because of what they do to the surrounding soil. All of the moisture dries out, removing a lot of the dirt’s volume. The soil retracts and condenses, removing its support from your foundation.
At this point, the foundation starts to settle, tilting downward wherever the soil has receded beneath it. It doesn’t take much before the concrete bends too much, causing cracks to form.
This problem is especially severe in Texas, where most homes are built upon soil with a heavy clay composition. The highly absorbent quality of clay causes dramatic expansion and contraction as moisture levels wax and wane.
It’s worth noting that it’s not just the soil that loses moisture in the heat, but your foundation, too. The porosity of concrete means that it absorbs some water. As temperatures tick upward, this water is also subject to evaporation, diminishing the density of the foundation itself. This weakens the foundation further, making it even more susceptible to the soil shifts that are happening simultaneously. The drier the concrete, the more brittle it becomes.
Texas will never be without its heat waves, but this summer, things are going to get especially volatile. Forecasts predict a significant rise in rainy weather throughout the season. This may seem like good news at first, considering that part of the heat risk to foundations comes from zapped humidity.
However, cycling between cooler, rainy periods and dry heat waves is going to create big shifts in fairly short periods of time. Foundation cracks created by scorching days find themselves quickly filled up by an influx of groundwater, further expanding the fissures. Waterlogged soil also exacerbates the settling caused by dry periods.
All of this means that your foundation could experience far more movement than it normally would. If your foundation is already weak, you could see serious issues arise quickly. By the arrival of fall’s greater rains, you might be in for a wet and humid basement. Once winter rolls around, the cracks that have been steadily growing can easily be ripped wide open when the groundwater freezes. Tackling the problem early is the only way to prevent major damage.
The risks highlighted above make a strong case for why you should seek help now if you have concerns about your foundation. Douglas Foundation Solutions offers foundation repair services for homes throughout Austin, Texas and surrounding areas.
Our experts are qualified to address issues with both slab and pier and beam foundations, and even perform soil stabilization. If you’re building a new home, we’ll help you make sure that it can stand up to Texas summers. Our team also performs soil stabilization and pier installations for new construction.
Still figuring things out? We’re happy to perform an inspection and give you our professional advice. You’re welcome to schedule a free evaluation with us, no strings attached.
Our crew will give you the information and guidance you need to understand how much work your foundation needs, and what your budget should be. Simply fill out our quick form and we’ll be in touch!
To learn more about how mudjacking could help your Austin property, contact Douglas Foundation Solutions at 512-291-0709.