Anyone living in Colorado is aware of the state’s mostly dry climate. Since the state is far away from any major bodies of water, it tends to stay dry for much of the year. Unfortunately, dry weather sometimes leads to a Colorado drought – a significant problem for foundations.
In this article, we’ll go over why droughts and dry weather are detrimental to your home’s foundation. Then, we’ll offer solutions to the problem so that your home can stay well protected during Colorado’s dry season.
How a Colorado Drought Damages Soil
Every home rests on top of a foundation, and every foundation rests on top of soil. No matter the type of foundation – crawl space, concrete slab, or basement – it depends on the soil to support its weight.
However, arid environments can cause issues for the soil supporting your foundation, specifically, a lack of moisture. See, normal soil has a healthy amount of moisture that keeps the soil particles heavy, full, and closely packed together. Dry soil becomes the opposite: brittle and weak. With excessive dryness, soil particles shrink in size. As they shrink, gaps open up within the soil and it becomes crumbly and unsupportive.
You can imagine how this negatively impacts your foundation. Heavy concrete slabs will sink into the newly formed gaps and crack as the soil becomes uneven below it. Crawl spaces and basements will also suffer from a lack of support, potentially causing walls to shift and support beams to bend under the weight of your home.
Not to mention, Bentonite soil is common throughout Colorado. Since it is clay-based, it experiences all the negative aspects of dry air, cracking easily and shrinking in size during a Colorado drought. Homeowners in Colorado can only benefit from being aware of these soil issues.
At Foundation Repair of Western Colorado, we’re here to help. We have plenty of tips and tools to keep your soil and foundation safe from dry conditions, which we’ll outline in the next section.
Quick Tips for Drought Prep
Use Sprinklers – Before the dry season begins, using a sprinkler system can saturate your yard with plenty of moisture. While it isn’t a permanent fix, it never hurts to give the soil a little help before an expected drought. Plus, it will prevent cracking and shrinking for a short time.
Find Drought-Resistant Plants – Certain plants fair better than others during the dry season. Some may hold moisture in their roots longer, offering a little bit of moisture to permeate your soil. Others simply provide a solid root structure that can strengthen your soil and prevent cracking.
Have a Professional Check Your Soil – Surveying the soil in your yard is always helpful, even outside the context of drought. Of course, it helps to know what soil you’re dealing with so you can plan accordingly during the dry season. Not to mention, understanding the soil around your property can allow you to make informed decisions when it comes to foundation repair or landscaping.
Professional Tools for Drought Prep
While those quick tips are a great place to start as the dry season approaches, Foundation Repair of Western Colorado is here to provide expert solutions that will permanently protect your home and foundation. Since soil is the main problem during the dry season, we have tools that remove it from the equation completely
At Foundation Repair of Western Colorado, we offer pier systems that strengthen and continuously support your foundation. We have three different types of pier systems: push piers, helical piers, and slab piers.
While they all have their own design and offer benefits unique to each style, they all accomplish the same overall goal – protecting your foundation from weak soil. Here’s how they work. Piers are lowered deep below the ground and inserted into load-bearing soils like bedrock. These deep soils are unaffected by weather and climate conditions, so a drought won’t cause them to become weak. Since the piers are implanted into these soils, they won’t move.
Then, the piers are attached to your foundation, offering improved weight distribution and a properly leveled foundation. Even if your home is not yet suffering from foundation damage, piers prevent damage from occurring in the first place. Consider getting piers systems installed before dry season begins!
Another potential tool that can help defend against dry soil is concrete lifting. Foundation Repair of Western Colorado uses PolyRenewal™, our polyurethane injection system.
Polyurethane is simply a foam polymer that is incredibly lightweight, yet durable and strong enough to support the concrete.
Since it is installed underneath the concrete and protected from the sun, dry conditions won’t cause the foam to become weakened. PolyRenewal™ expands upon injection and reaches full strength in just 30 minutes. It also fills any holes that may have opened up due to weak soil, offering increased structural support. Installation is minimal, mess-free, and relatively quick. Polyurethane injection is another great option for defending against weak soil brought on by the dry season.
Wall Anchors and Crawl Space Support Posts
For basements and crawl spaces, defense comes in two different forms. Since soil acts as a natural support for basement walls, weak soil could cause potential cracks to form. Wall anchors solve this issue by supporting and straightening basement walls even if the soil is drying out.
Crawl space support posts offer a similar solution. If your standard crawl space beams are bending due to dry soil, we have IntelliJack™. These galvanized steel beams can be installed in nearly any crawl space and actively support your floors from sagging due to poor weight distribution. Consider using these in tandem with other foundation repair tools for best results!
Defend Against Dry Season and Drought
At Foundation Repair of Western Colorado, our team is dedicated to keeping you and your home safe as the dry season comes upon us. If your soil is cracking, or your foundation is sinking, we’re here to help you.
Our team of experts has the tools and experience to solve any foundation problem you throw at them
, and we’ve been serving homeowners since 2005, and we’re ready to serve you too. Contact us today for more info and set up a free inspection!