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Understanding the Impact of Weather on Foundations

The backbone of any building is its foundation, which provides support and stability to the entire structure. However, many homeowners may not realize that weather conditions can significantly impact the foundation’s integrity. Memphis experiences four distinct seasons, with scorching heat and humidity during summers, heavy rainfalls in spring, and harsh snowy conditions in winter. Fortunately, fall offers a reprieve when the weather is typically more comfortable than other months. Most weather conditions pose unique challenges that can compromise the foundation’s structural integrity. If you are searching online for foundation repair near me, look no further than American Standard Foundation Repair. Our knowledge and expertise in foundation repair in Memphis allow us to provide valuable insight for homeowners, helping to protect your investment.

The Impact of Weather on Foundations

Drought and Soil Shrinkage

In areas susceptible to drought, extended periods of dry weather can cause the soil beneath a foundation to shrink and compact, creating gaps beneath the foundation and leading to settlement issues. This can result in cracks in the foundation, even leading to cracks in the driveway, cracks in drywall, and cracks in bricks. Homeowners in drought-prone areas should monitor soil moisture levels and consider installing proper irrigation systems to maintain consistent moisture levels around the foundation.

Heavy Rainfall and Soil Expansion

On the other hand, excessive rain can cause the soil around a foundation to become waterlogged, expanding soil and hydrostatic pressure. When the soil reaches its saturation point, it loses its ability to bear the weight of the foundation, resulting in soil shifting and the potential for foundation heaving. This, in turn, can lead to cracks in walls and flooding in the basement. To prevent water-related damage, it is crucial to have proper drainage systems such as gutters, downspouts, and French drains in place to divert excess water away from the foundation.

Freezing Temperatures

Last February, a severe snowstorm hit Memphis, leaving many people without power for days. Plumbers were running from house to house to repair burst pipes. Another issue that can arise after heavy snowfall is a process called frost heave on foundations. This occurs when water in the soil freezes, expands, and exerts pressure on the foundation below, causing it to lift or shift. Over time, this repeated cycle of freezing and thawing can result in cracks on walls and other surfaces, leading to structural damage. Proper insulation and foundation design, including below-frost line footings, can help reduce the risk of frost heave, particularly in colder climates.

Extreme Heat and Soil Drying

Extreme heat can speed up soil drying and worsen the impact of drought on building foundations. As the soil dries up, it shrinks and moves away from the foundation, leaving it susceptible to damage such as settlement and cracks. Furthermore, prolonged exposure to high temperatures can cause concrete foundations to expand and contract, which can result in thermal cracks in the foundation. Proper management of soil moisture and the use of moisture barriers can help reduce the impact of extreme heat on foundations.

The Impact of Midsouth Weather on Foundations – And What You Can Do About It

Weather conditions are a critical factor that affects the health and stability of a building’s foundation. To safeguard their investment and ensure the long-term structural integrity of their property, homeowners must understand the potential impacts of weather on foundations and take proactive steps to mitigate risks. At American Standard Foundation Repair, we are committed to providing expert solutions and guidance to homeowners who face foundation issues caused by weather-related factors. Do not wait until it is too late. American Standard Foundation Repair has you covered if you need foundation repair in the midsouth. Protect your foundation today. 

climate, foundation basics