Stage Five Restrictions Would Add More Strain to Foundations

The severe lack of rain across Texoma is creating a messy situation for some home owners. The cracks Mindy Giles found in her home concerned her enough to get her foundation checked out and repaired.

"I think that it's probably better that we're trying to do it now, kind of stemming the problem before it gets any worse," Mindy explained.

Foundation company officials say they do see the issue getting worse as the drought continues, especially with the "no foundation watering" aspect of looming stage 5 restrictions.

Jared Golden with AAA Foundation Repair told us that four years ago, 60% of the houses they looked at needed their foundations fixed. Now about 90% of the homes they look at have foundation problems.

"Five years ago we'd come in and we'd dig around the outside of the house and you dig down ten or 12 inches and the dirt underneath the house was moist. Today we're digging down 6, 7 feet before we found something that's actually moist," Golden explained.

Golden also says the damage being done now may be permanent.

"The damage that has been done is not gonna go anywhere and once a house is moved you will never get it to all the way back to where it was," elaborated Golden.

But he says there is one way you can help.

"Put some kind of mulch down. You know, maybe a layer of plastic and some mulch around the outside of the house. Bring it out about 3-4 inches from the house. Try to keep some kind of barrier over the ground that is going to allow you to keep the moisture that you have instead of letting all of it get ribbed by the sun," he advised.

Golden says about two inches of mulch will go a long way in protecting the future of your house.

It's a step Mindy plans to take and one that could help so many other Texomans avoid the cracks she's dealing with now.

An engineer with the city of Wichita Falls says over-watering your foundation can also be a problem. He says the key to a strong foundation is consistency. You don't want the clay soil expanding or contracting too much.

Here are some signs your foundation may need repair:

  • Interior tile cracking
  • Doors and windows not opening and closing correctly
  • Cracks in sheet rock
  • Moulding and trim pulling apart
  • Cracks in exterior brick

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