Foundations are essentials for all our homes, but they are, unfortunately, prone to damage – and not just from wet weather, either. It turns out that prolonged periods of hot weather can have a detrimental impact too!
So, what’s going on here?
Why Hot Weather Causes Cracks And Foundation Repair Issues
Understanding how hot weather could affect your foundations is actually quite intuitive.
When soil becomes dry around the foundations (usually during the summer months of June, July, and August in the northern hemisphere), it begins to shrink. The scorching temperatures heat the moisture in the soil, often several feet down, leading to evaporation. The earth then contracts. And when this happens, it can pull on the foundations, causing them to crack under the force.
It seems like quite an extreme effect, but it makes sense. When there’s a strong wind, the amount of force that you feel against your hand is quite small. But when you open a large umbrella, it can tug much harder.
A similar principle applies to your foundations. Drying out a small patch of soil won’t make much of a difference to the forces on the structure. But when months of dry heat remove all the moisture from the earth, it can all add up to a significant level of pressure.
The type of soil determines the degree to which it contracts. Clay tends to shrink quite considerably during long, hot spells, because of its high water content.
Signs That You May Have A Foundation Issue
Foundation issues due to hot weather tend to be relatively easy to spot, once you know what you’re looking for.
If the soil has been expanding and contracting over several years, you may notice that your foundation slab is beginning to slope. The angle puts it at a disadvantage and more prone to damage from the weight from above.
When the soil dries out, it can also cause foundations to sink. The moisture that once kept the structure buoyant above ground disappears, and suddenly, the entire edifice begins to move downwards.
This process usually happens to different parts of your home at different rates. It can cause cracks to work their way up from the foundations to the superstructure.
As a homeowner, there isn’t a huge amount you can do personally to fix a sloped or cracked foundation. Your best bet is to consult with experts. Pinnacle Foundation Repair detailed information on foundations and the best approach to take.
How To Alleviate The Problem
Besides getting in contact with foundation repair experts, what else can you do to keep your foundations healthy?
Your main objective should be to keep the ground around your home moist throughout the dry summer months. Importantly, you don’t want to water-log the earth – that can create problems of its own. Instead, you want to gently sprinkle the ground regularly, providing time for the water to seep into the lower layers without soaking them.
If you notice any problems with your foundations, however, you should enlist the services of a foundation expert before things get worse.
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