How does a drought impact your home’s foundation?

In January of 2014, Governor Brown declared a State of Emergency in California thanks to one of the worst droughts in over 163 years. With the lack of rainfall, Californians were forced to reduce their water consumption by 20 percent. It also put other state agencies and firefighters on alert for an outbreak of wildfires due to extreme dryness of the ground. Thankfully, rain did come to the state in late December, but not enough to end the drought. California is still facing water conservation, as the drought continues. The California drought isn’t just taking its toll on water consumption; it is also affecting vegetation, the flow of rivers, and the levels of water in lakes and reservoirs. As these problems persist, so do the short and long-term impacts to the land, wildlife, infrastructure, and the people who live in California.

One such place you may start to notice the drought’s impact is in your home’s foundation. Long periods of drought can cause the soil underneath and around your home to shrink, which in turn affects your foundation’s stability. As the soil contracts, your foundation as well as your partition walls can begin to settle causing the concrete slab and drywall to sink and crack.

You may not notice this settling until you start to see cracks in your walls or along the floors of your home, or when windows and doors become difficult to close. Should it begin to rain at any point during the drought, your home’s foundation may also be vulnerable to shifting, as water will find its way into any available cracks.

The best way to determine whether your home is being affected by the California drought is to contact a foundation professional to request an inspection.