Can A Dry Lawn Damage Your Foundation?

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dry soil and foundation problems

When you’re trying to protect your home from foundation damage, you have to worry about more than the presence of hydrostatic pressure and unstable soil. An extended drought can also put the structural integrity of your foundation at risk. 

You can take steps to prevent drier weather from doing damage to your home. With a few behavioral changes and the help of a Kansas City, MO, foundation repair professional, you can give your home the protective measures it needs to retain its value even through the strangest of Midwest summers. 

Foundation Damage When the Weather’s Dry 

The way your soil reacts to water depends on its composition. Some types of soil, like bentonite clay, absorb water with enthusiasm, growing in size and shrinking dramatically when struck with a drought. Other types respond less dramatically. No matter what, your soil will change in size based on the weather in your area. 

The weather in Kansas City, MO, is fairly consistent from year to year. While the area suffers from the Midwest’s tendency toward unpredictable storms and tornadoes, most residents can expect cool winters and blistering summers. Even so, droughts are rarer than balanced summer seasons. 

If you do find yourself faced with a drought, you’ll want to take the condition of your soil into account. Missouri’s soil types vary, but more often than not, you’ll find yourself contending with some percentage of clay. As this soil dries out, the moving particles beneath your home will leave behind gaps for your foundation to sink into. As your foundation sinks, cracks can form and let in critters or, come the eventual rains, water. Similarly, dry soil can encourage foundation settlement and slipping, which can throw the security of your home into question. 

Protecting Your Home from Foundation Damage 

That said, you can take steps to protect your foundation from Missouri’s drier weather. The protective measures you have at your disposal include products as well as behavioral changes, all of which will help you get ahead of a dry stretch during the summer. 

Your protective measures can include: 

  • Testing your soil composition – Before you commit to a specific protective measure, you’ll want to try and get a better idea of how your soil will react to a prolonged dry spell. Have a professional test your soil for its composition. When you understand what kind of soil you’re working with, you can plan your protective measures more effectively. 
  • Cleaning out your drains before the rain comes – While dry soil causes problems on its own, your foundation can suffer from more significant damage when a drought finally does break. To get ahead of that damage, you’ll want to make sure that any drains you have around your home are free of obstacles or debris. This way, water can flow freely away from your home without generating hydrostatic pressure around your sensitive foundation, basement, or crawl space. 
  • Investing in a sprinkler system – When you water your lawn, you encourage the soil particles around your perimeter to retain their healthy shape. This way, the particles will be less inclined to shift, and your foundation will have fewer opportunities to succumb to gravity’s pressure and slip. 
  • Installing a dry well – You can also invest in a dry well to grade the landscaping around your home’s perimeter. With the help of internal gravel pits and a series of pipes near the perimeter of your home, a dry well will gather up the water that drought would have otherwise sent straight toward your foundation. These wells will then store that water and distribute it through your yard at a more controlled rate. 
  • Using sub-surface drains – It’s never a bad idea to waterproof your foundation. Sub-surface drains will help direct any rain runoff away from your home and out into your yard or containment units.  

Get in Touch with Area Professionals 

If you’re not sure how to best work with your particular mix of soil, you may want to reach out to a professional working in the Kansas City, MO, area. A foundation repair expert from Foundation Recovery Systems can inspect your home for signs of damage and recommend fixes as well as the solutions that can prevent foundation shifting in the dry spells of summertime. You can use the free quote these contractors provide to determine what protective measures may suit your home best.

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