How does summer weather affect my basement and foundation health?
Do hot summer temperatures cause basement and foundation cracks? In one word, yes. Or at least the hot weather often does.
The summer months can be rough on home foundations. Because of excessive heat and little rainfall, the soil around the foundations begins to contract. Eventually, this causes the foundation to lose stability and start failing, leading to the development of structural problems in the home.
Cracks in your basement and foundation can also become cracks in your peace of mind. If the problem is left unattended, then the basement and foundation cracks can become a bigger issue, letting water in, causing serious structural damage, and leading to even bigger basement and foundation repair jobs and costs.
Foundation repairs to your home and summer heat go hand in hand. Spring is over. The outside temperatures start to rise, and the rain slows down our focus on our home’s basement and foundations. Foundations are very susceptible to fluctuations in moisture level of soils. Spring brings moderate temperatures and steady rains. Summer brings high temperatures and dry weather. These fluctuations cause movement in your home’s foundation which can result in cracks in basement walls and sticky doors and windows.
The issue is particularly relevant in areas like Des Moines, where average summer temperatures regularly rise into the 90’s and above.
Wet Soil and Dry Soil Can Damage Your Foundation
In the spring the weather is mild and wet, which causes the soil to become saturated and swollen. The wet soils expand and become very heavy around and under your home’s foundation. Often you will notice new cracks in basement floors, drywall, and foundations. These rigid surfaces show these signs of stress because of the expansive soils surrounding them and their movement.
As summer starts, the soil begins to dry out, crack and shrink. You will notice cracks to develop in your lawn and the soil pulling away from the foundation. As this continues the process goes deeper and deeper in your yard causing your foundation to settle. As the home’s foundation starts to settle new cracks will develop vertically in the basement walls. These vertical cracks are due to differential settling or uneven settlement caused by different soil moisture levels around your home. The location of trees, flower gardens, and shade will help determine the drying time and extent.
The Problem with Clay
Homes built on clay soil are even more prone to summer foundation cracks. It’s the nature of clay soil to swell in volume when it gets wet and then to shrink as it dries out in the heat. The shrinking and swelling tend to happen at ground level and just below, pressuring and pulling on the foundation of your home, letting it sink and causing cracks and eventually structural damage.
Not Just the Summer Weather
Of course, it’s not just the summer heat that’s the issue. Wetter weather and colder weather can also have an effect on the basement foundation, causing cracks and undermining its integrity. No matter the weather or season, cracks in your home’s foundation, especially ones that are noticeably expanding, need to be inspected and fixed as soon as possible.
Basement Foundation Repairs for Damage
To prevent further foundation damage caused by soil movement basement foundation repairs become necessary. Slowing or stopping the movement is the key to preventing major structural damages. Basement Foundation repair methods are successful when they move the bearing surface of the foundation to soils that are not affected by moisture changes in the upper levels of soils.
As the temperatures increase in your area keep an eye on soil moisture levels and any new cracks in your home. These are signs of future movements and potential foundation problems.
While some will tell you that you can reverse the effects of drying soils with soaker hoses, the amount of water necessary to do this is usually impractical. A simple one-inch rain that falls on a 1,500 square foot roof equals nearly 1,000 gallons of water. When you add in the water that falls on your lawn it is simple to see replacing this quantity of water can become very difficult and expensive.
Next steps for Basement Foundation Repairs
If your home already has foundation problems, the hot summer months can cause them to worsen. Don't wait to call BAM Basements and Masons of Des Moines at 515-963-0226 to schedule a free, no-obligation estimate. You’ll have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re working with a BBB A+ rated basement foundation repair company that’s been serving Des Moines and the surrounding communities since 2012.
BAM Basements and Masons of Des Moines is your premier foundation repair company serving the Des Moines, Iowa area. If you’re located in Des Moines, Ankeny, Bondurant, Altoona, Pleasant hill, Ames, Adel, Waukee, Indianola, Grimes, Urbandale, Johnston, West Des Moines, or the surrounding areas, we’re the place to call. We can help you avoid costly and stressful foundation repair mistakes, by giving you a customized solution that’s going to work for you and your home long term. BAM Basements and Masons of Des Moines is a professional and locally owned and operated state registered contractor. We offer affordable honest upfront pricing, no hidden costs, offer free estimates and limited lifetime warranties. We use new methods and materials on all jobs. We would love to help!