Cracking home foundations more common due to dry soil

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When buying a new home or even just doing repairs on your own, the last thing you want to see are cracks in your soil and foundation. Foundation repair companies say they’re a lot busier than usual, thanks to unusually dry soil.

“Right now, we’re seeing more of an issue with downward movement. Some of the soils and the clays are beginning to dry out and we’re seeing stair step cracking and foundations,” said Shane Isham, owner of Isham Waterproofing and Foundation Repair.

According to the National Weather Service, little to no rain has fallen recently in parts of the Midwest, including Kansas, Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle. This lack of rain can cause a lot of damage to your home’s foundation.

“Some signs you can see here of inward movement on your foundation wall. You’re starting to see daylight coming through,” Isham said.

Isham says if you’re worried about your own home there are some signs that indicate damage.

“As far as inside we notice a lot of cracking in sheet rock. There will be gaping, just depending on how much movement. If you look above your windows or doors, whether they shut or close,” Isham said.

Here’s an example of one of the cracks we’re seeing in this home right now. Experts say that this is caused by a lack of moisture in the soil.

“Your soil is wet. Once it begins to dry out, it begins to shrink. Especially in higher concentrations of clay soil. It begins to dry out and that’s what causes the downward decline,” Isham said.

Isham says the best thing you can do is to keep an eye on your foundation before it gets to the point where you need professional help.

“Look at the top of the foundation wall. Typically, around the corners, that 8-12-inch mark. A lot of times there will be a big crack there,” Isham said.

And if it gets too bad, it’s time to call the experts. 

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