2020 boasts one of the worst droughts Grand Junction, CO, has seen in some time. This drought is set not only to impact the tourism and agricultural industries, but it can also have a severe impact on the stability of your foundation.
The drier your soil gets, the more at-risk your foundation is going to be. Combine local weather with the area’s bentonite clay, and you could be looking at a tough year for foundation care – if you’re not prepared.
Why Does Dry Soil Damage Your Foundation?
More often than not, it’s rain and snowmelt that puts your home at risk for a leak or foundation damage. The more hydrostatic pressure your home has to endure, the more likely it’s going to crack under stress.
Unfortunately, dry weather can have an equally severe impact on your foundation’s structural health. As your soil dries out, the particles start to shrink in size. As those particles shrink, they’ll move closer to one another, leaving gaps where they once used to be. Your foundation can sink into those gaps. As a result, your basement floor can develop waves, and your foundation can start to crack. To make matters worse, when it does finally rain, your soil will be too small and unhealthy to take in as much water as it normally would. As a result, you’ll see more post-drought hydrostatic pressure than you would if it had been raining consistently.
Things grow even more complicated when you take Grand Junction’s bentonite soil into account. Normally, bentonite soil is an excellent soil for waterproofing your home. Water wicks away from this clay like it’s coming off of a duck’s back. Unfortunately, droughts are especially unkind to this type of clay. It will be even more difficult than normal for water to continue circulating through your clay. As a result, the shifts beneath your foundation will be more significant, leaving you to face down more significant damages should your foundation start to falter.
Ideally, you’ll want to try and water your lawn – especially around the perimeter of your home – once or twice a week during a drought of this severity. Of course, you don’t want your lawn to be damp. Not only does that waste water, but it threatens to bring a scourge of mosquitoes to your yard. You do want to try and keep your soil healthy to prevent foundation settlement or damage.
How to Prevent Foundation Damage During A Drought
Unfortunately, you may not have the resources to water your lawn consistently. That’s where the foundation and basement repair professionals working in Grand Junction, CO, come into play. With their help, you can prepare your basement to weather the worst of 2020’s drought.
Some of the best ways you can protect your foundation from dry soil include:
- Clear out your drains – If you have an interior drainage system, or drains outside of your home, you’ll want to take this opportunity to keep your drains as clear as possible. If obstacles start to block your drains, it will be even more difficult for your systems to keep water from damaging your structural supports.
- Install a sprinkler system around your perimeter – As mentioned, you’ll want to try and water your lawn at least twice a week to keep the soil around your perimeter lush and healthy.
- Invest in dry wells – If you don’t want to commit to an internal or exterior drainage system, you may want to consider a dry well. Dry wells are wells filled with gravel that gather water via a negative grade. Should it start to rain in your area, water will run into this dry well, thereby limiting the amount of hydrostatic pressure your foundation endures.
- Use a sub-surface drainage system – This is also a great time to waterproof your foundation, basement, or crawl space. Sub-surface drainage systems will force water away from your home and into a nearby sewer system.
Unfortunately, none of these waterproofing measures can bring rain back to Colorado. They can, however, help you prevent foundation damage while the weather dries out. If you want to explore additional options, you can reach out to the professional foundation and basement repair professionals working in your area. You’ll benefit from a home inspection and a free quote on drought and bentonite clay-appropriate waterproofing and foundation repair measures.