How Drought in Florida Affects Your Foundation
We all know that drought can cause serious problems for field crops, produce crops, lawns, and gardens. But drought conditions like those currently occurring in Central Florida cause more than brown lawns, wilted gardens, and sparse yields. They can also cause issues with the foundation of your home or business. During droughts and extended dry periods, the soil that surrounds your home loses moisture, which can cause it to shrink and pull away from the concrete. This pulling away of the soil could lead to major foundation problems in your Florida home or business.
As the soil pulls away and shrinks, it causes voids and gaps to form underground around your foundation. Sometimes, this soil shrinkage leads to sinkhole formation that causes foundation settlement, while other times it is the cause of erosion or flooding. Some possible issues that occur due to drought in Florida include:
- Sinkhole Formation: Soil shrinkage underneath your home may cause the soil under the surface to fall away, leaving a hole underground. When the top layer of that holes caves in due to a lack of support from underneath, a sinkhole opens up and can swallow up your home or at least cause major structural damage.
- Foundation Settlement: Soil pulling away from your foundation might not result in a problem as drastic as a sinkhole, but it can still lead to foundation settlement. As the soil under your home shrinks and falls away, it will leave the concrete without the necessary support, causing it to shift and sink.
- Flooding: Often, foundation settlement is accompanied by the formation of foundation cracks. These cracks can then let water seep into your home, which can lead to flooding or other moisture issues in your home, crawlspace, or basement, depending on the type of foundation that you have.
- Erosion: Because soil shrinkage allows voids to form under your home, the area is at greater risk of soil erosion if it does rain. When rain, especially heavy rain, occurs after a long drought, the water will fill underground voids and carry away loose soil that shifted due to soil shrinkage. This can cause further settlement and can speed up the formation of sinkholes under your home.
How to Spot Drought-Related Foundation Damage
Fortunately, the expert team at Foundation Professionals of Florida can take care of drought-related foundation issues in your Florida home or business. Keep an eye out for the following signs to determine if your structure has been affected by a drought-related foundation problem:
- Exterior Foundation Problems:
- Cracked or separated bricks
- Broken or cracked siding caulking
- Sunken concrete/foundation
- Skewed gas meters
- Chimney pulling away from house
- Cracks or visible shifting in foundation
- Interior Foundation Problems
- Doors or windows that are hard to open or close
- Sloped or uneven floors inside
- Cracks in drywall or plaster
- Gaps under baseboards or cabinets
- Cracks in the basement floor or walls
- Cracks in the ceiling
- Bowed foundation walls
- Moisture-Related Issues
- Water seepage inside the home or basement
- Mold or mildew growth
- Damp insulation or drywall in the basement
- Condensation on basement pipes
- Flooding or puddle formation in home
Normally, issues like wall or floor cracks will be visible in the basement before they are visible in the rest of the home. Be sure to check your basement or crawlspace for damage regularly. If you do see any of the above signs in your home, call the team at Foundation Professionals of Florida today. We offer various solutions for foundation problems cause by the dry weather and drought conditions in Florida.
Solutions for Drought Foundation Problems in Florida
If your home or business has been affected by drought, we can help. We offer solutions varying from foundation pier installation, to sinkhole remediation, to carbon fiber repair, to foundation waterproofing. If your foundation has started to sink and crack due to drought, we will install foundation piers such as helical piers or steel push piers to lift and stabilize it. These piers, from the leading supplier in the country – ECP (Earth Contact Products) are driven into the deep ground beneath your foundation to provide extra support. If your basement walls have started bowing due to drought conditions in the soil, we can install helical tieback anchors or foundation wall anchors to pull them back into place. We also offer carbon fiber repairs to stabilize basement walls and close cracks.
We also offer compaction grouting solutions and permeation grouting to fill voids and sinkholes under your foundation. These methods involve pumping grout or polyurethane solutions into the underground voids to fill and stabilize the entire area.
In addition, we provide both interior and exterior waterproofing to ensure that water is not allowed to seep through foundation cracks into your home. If foundation problems have left your foundation vulnerable to water leakage, invest in exterior waterproofing methods such as waterproof membranes and interior waterproofing methods like sump pump systems.
Contact Foundation Professionals of Florida today if you are concerned about the effects of drought on your foundation or if you notice drought-related foundation problems in your structure.