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Preventing foundation damage in extreme heat


OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma could definitely use a lot of rain right now.

While there is a chance for rain in the forecast it will likely take a few good rainfalls for the burn ban to end.

In addition to that, many homeowners are finding the heat is taking its toll on their property, causing damage to their home’s foundation.

Cracks in the walls, windows separating from the home, large gaps between the home and the ground next to it, all signs of foundation trouble.

Kerr Team Real Estate’s Wally Kerr said, “You can see this wall has moved out this way and it’s kicked this trim out.”

Kerr has worked in real estate for 25 years and said signs of foundation issues like these show up in years where we are desperate for rain.

He said, “The summer of ’98, the summer of 2000 and of course last year.”

He said piers typically fix the problem and come at a cost of anywhere from $400 to $650 each.

Kerr said, “It’s really simple. When there’s no moisture in the ground, the soil shrinks and when the soil shrinks, it causes that crack.”

Though homeowners can take steps to prevent damage like this.

Kerr recommends placing soaker hoses about six inches from the house around the perimeter.

Running the water slowly can keep the soil moist and prevent it from pulling away from the house, helping protect the foundation from shifting.

He said, “What they want to do is saturate the ground slowly so it will push the soil back up.”

You don’t want the ground soaked, just moist so it keeps the soil pressure on the foundation.

It’s an affordable option that could prevent foundation movement and future repair bills.

Kerr said, “You’re saving literally thousands.”

Kerr said many foundations go about 18 inches deep so you want to water to that level.

Also, make sure you aren’t watering directly into the crack around your home, if there is one.

Keep the hose a few inches away so the soil is getting the water, not the house.

Structural engineers said it’s good to keep the soil moist, just don’t let the water puddle around your home.

Too much water could also cause problems.