FORT WORTH, Texas — Seasonal changes can lead to foundation problems, which then leads to tens of thousands of dollars in repairs.
But some of those problems could be prevented just by watering the ground near your home, experts say.
“The whole idea is controlling the physical swelling of the soil,” said Chris Chamberlain, project manager for GL Hunt Foundation repair. “If you can control some degree of it, the structure’s going to be a lot better off.”
Chamberlain says a sprinkler system may not always be enough, adding that the ground near the exterior of a home needs extra attention.
“I would say 30 minutes a day, three times a week when it’s triple digits,” Chamberlain said.
Fixing foundation problems can range from $5,000 to up to $90,000, he said.
Most problems are caused by changes in the soil, which he said is shifting following a spring with a lot of rain and a summer with very little.
“The soil is retracting very quickly,” he said. “It’s causing a lot of damage this year.”
GL Hunt Foundation Repair is going to its busiest season, fixing more than 60 Texas homes every week, Chamberlain said.
Many of the company’s customers moved to North Texas from out of state, where watering to prevent foundation problems isn't well known.
While some homeowners opt to cut back on watering to save money on utilities, Chamberlain says that can lead to a much bigger expense.
“In the grand scheme of things, this repair costing $10,000 to $12,000, that $15 to $30 dollars per month is just a drop in the bucket,” he said.
Signs of foundation problems include cracks on the inside and outside of the home, and sudden trouble opening and closing windows and doors.