COVID-19: Our Commitment to our Community

Dry soil and your house

In terms of years, 2020 hasn’t been the kindest. If the global pandemic wasn’t enough to contest with, Denver, CO, is also facing one of the worst droughts on record.

You might think a drought would give your foundation the break it needs from the state’s yearly rain and snowmelt. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Dry weather and drought can have a severe impact on your foundation’s overall health. There are steps you can take to protect your foundation from the worst of this dry weather damage.

Why Does Dry Soil Damage Your Foundation?

Normally you’d assume rain would cause most of your foundation’s problems. After all, the more it rains, or the more snow that melts off in a year, the more hydrostatic pressure your home has to endure.

While it’s true that excessive rain and snow can cause your foundation to come under pressure, dry weather can have a similarly negative impact. As the weather dries out, the soil beneath your home shrinks in size. These particles will shift, given that loss, and cause your foundation to move with them.

Your foundation can fall into the gaps that your soil leaves behind, causing it to sink or settle unevenly. As your foundation attempts to compensate for these changes, it can crack and allow insects or other critters into your home.

When it does eventually rain, that rainwater will be able to get into your home more easily. In the same vein, any hydrostatic pressure that builds up outside of your home will exacerbate your dry-weather damage.

Things grow even more complicated when you take Denver’s soil into account. Most homes are left to contend with bentonite clay. This clay is normally fairly waterproof on its own and drives water away from sensitive foundations to the point where other states without the clay occasionally invest in it as a waterproofing measure. In Colorado, the problem differs. As the soil around your home dries out, bentonite clay will make it more difficult for water to circulate through your yard. Normally, this means your foundation would stay drier for longer. In the midst of a drought, this means your lawn’s more likely to suffer – and so is your foundation.

How to Prevent Foundation Damage During A Drought

When faced with drought as severe as this year’s, you’re going to want to do what you can to protect your yard and your foundation. There are several steps you can take to do both, including:

  • Clear out your drainsInterior and exterior drainage systems can remove water from your home during a normal year. You’re going to want to keep the drains bracing these systems clear in the midst of a drought. If you don’t, you’ll make it more difficult for these systems to remove water from your home when it does eventually rain again.
  • Install a sprinkler system around your perimeter – It’s also worthwhile to invest in a comprehensive sprinkler system in the midst of a drought. Ideally, you’ll want to water the perimeter of your home at least twice a week to keep the soil beneath your foundation healthy. If you don’t have the resources, you can also hand-water your perimeter.
  • Invest in dry wells – Dry wells work wonders in post-drought Colorado, as they substitute for interior and exterior drainage system. These wells take advantage of negative grading to direct rainwater away from the perimeter of your home. When filled with gravel and appropriately piped, they can send water from their dug-outs into a nearby sewer system.
  • Use a sub-surface drainage system – When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to invest in a home drainage system. These systems physically remove water from your home under even the most severe of circumstances. You can take advantage of today’s dry weather to protect yourself from tomorrow’s rain.

You have more options available to you when you work with the basement and foundation repair professionals in the Denver, CO, area. These contractors can inspect your home and provide you with a free personalized quote for any repair or protective services you may need.

Don’t let the stress of 2020 prevent you from protecting your home. Reach out to the professionals in your area to learn more about the measures that can protect your foundation from the 2020 drought.