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The end of the Central Texas drought & your Foundation

November 16, 2009

in Expansive Soil, Foundation Repair

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Photo: Expansive Clay SoilAccording to the Austin-American Statesman, this years El Niño weather pattern could ease the drought conditions in Central Texas. What does that mean for homeowners in the Central Texas area? It means its time for a period of soil swelling.

Central Texas sits in an area of the United States which is highly affected by expansive soils. (source: geology.com)

Expansive soils contain minerals such as smectite clays that are capable of absorbing water. When they absorb water they increase in volume. The more water they absorb the more their volume increases. Expansions of ten percent or more are not uncommon. This change in volume can exert enough force on a building or other structure to cause damage.
source: http://geology.com/articles/expansive-soil.shtml

With the coming wet weather, Central Texas soils will be absorbing moisture, and subsequently expanding which can lead to increased strain on home and building foundations.

In periods of increased rainfall it is important to be cautious when watering your foundation. Ovewatering causes the soil to absorb too much water, thus expanding, and possibly leading to foundation problems. A good tip for watering your lawn/foundation is to water it enough to keep your plants alive and healthy, saturation is neither good for plants nor foundations.

For the time being, however, water restrictions are still in effect, so overwatering should not be an issue until water restrictions are lifted completely.

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An Excellent video on keeping your foundation moist in drought conditions

Article on geology.com about Insurance companies and foundation repair insurance.

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