Drought Causes Problems With Foundations

HOUSTON – The drought has left many lawns in southeast Texas parched, but some residents are starting to notice problems with their home's foundation.

Olshan Foundation Solutions said it has received a record number of calls during the heat and drought. The company said it received more than 100 calls in one day.

"We're having problems with our doors being sticky; we couldn't open the doors," homeowner Dorothy Grove said. "There are large cracks on the walls in our house."

Grove had a Cable Lock system installed. It raised her house about two inches to help get the foundation back in place.

"The soil is truly supporting the slab foundation," said Mike Deshazer of Olshan. "As that soil dries out, it actually shrinks and is less supportive of the concrete, then the concrete has the ability to settle and drop."

The company said it's best that homeowners not wait until they notice a shift in their foundation, and waiting for the drought to end could only cause more problems.

"It can be a few thousand dollars to $40,000, $50,000," Deshazer said.

The company said older homes will see a little more shifting, and trees will add to the problem as they try to soak any moisture that's in the ground.

Experts said one way to prevent foundation problems it to water as often as the restrictions allow. They suggested putting a soaker hose about a foot away from the foundation and let the water seep into the ground.