Red Dirt Curse
Our red dirt is as much a part of Oklahoma’s make-up like oil fields, odd weather patterns, and historical cattle drives. But unfortunately, the iconic red dirt and lack of precipitation can wreak havoc on foundations.
Oklahoma residents like the red dirt, but during droughts all of the clay-like tendencies surface. Red dirt is more reactive to water than many soils on the planet. Drying out causes contraction and the introduction of even a small amount of moisture causes expansion. This random and sometimes severe contraction and expansion have a direct effect on all foundations, causing stress and pressure in the soil, leading to cracks and heaving foundation walls and supports.
The state often experiences extreme droughts and with that comes extreme compression. Homeowners face more foundation problems in the summer compared to any other season.
The first signs of foundation damage are cracks – wall cracks and floor cracks. Next up would be misaligned doors and windows. Just because your door isn’t closing all the way, doesn’t mean it was installed incorrectly, generally, there’s a larger problem. To avoid these problems during droughts, many homeowners try to water the perimeter of their homes to keep the soil from compressing. This method is not a prevention and not recommended, as overwatering with poor or little drainage can cause extensive issues on their own.
What Should You Do?
Should you have those cracks repaired and your foundation assessed? Yes! Ignoring issues will only help that hairline wall crack expand into a large, structural problem. Foundation repairs can be very expensive and the price will continue to rise as the problem gets larger. Always have any structural issue addressed in your home.