Rains following drought means new foundation issues

July 25, 2012 3:37:35 PM PDT
Last year's drought caused millions of dollars in damage to home foundations across our area and now that we have gotten so much rain lately you might think the problems are gone, but they are not.

In fact, some people are only now finding problems with sticking doors and cracks in walls. So what's going on now?

There's no doubt the dry weather caused a slow moving disaster for home owners, but the rain did not fix the problems. In some cases, all the water made things worse.

Kenny Dutton with DuWest Foundation points out foundation problems with one home in Kingwood, where the front of the home is lower than the back section. During our recent drought these kinds of cracks were common place, but even after heavy rainfall, some homes are still in need of repair.

"We were so dry, we have got some voids in under the foundations and the rains that we had recently some went under the voids, but the perimeter is dry also," Dutton explained.

Dutton says he's seeing more problems popping up north of Houston, in the Spring, Humble and Kingwood area.

He said, "The soil that we have in this area is very slow to react to the rain that we have had in the area."

One home in Humble is getting major repairs. Blane Bartley with Olshan Foundation says while our recent rainfall is good for our homes, the rain is not going to make problems go away.

"We went from one extreme, a complete drought, to now we are saturated and the soils are so volatile in our region that it went from dropping to now almost heave-like conditions," Bartley explained. "So the house was down and now it is drastically moving up."

Bartley says homeowners can help minimize damage by making sure water does not pool around their foundations.

"If you see mold or you see moss around your house, you are seeing too much water and that is a great indicator, at that point you need to look at proper grading," he advised.

Getting a foundation problem fixed will take time, because most foundation repair companies are still months behind on the work they need to do from the drought.

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