GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — Drought has already been a contributing factor in our recent increase in wildfires, but more problems may be developing under your feet.
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The lack of rain in Central Texas is creating a shift in the earth below. Soil is contracting, drying up and pulling away from homes, leaving the foundation with room to move.
That movement could cause either plumbing issues or cracks in the foundation.
Joshua Trevino with G.L. Hunt Foundation Repair said fixing a shifted foundation could range from $10K to $50K depending on the severity.
KXAN asked Trevino about the scope of that problem right now in Central Texas.
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“It’s pretty huge,” Trevino said.
It’s not just homes that are having issues because of the drought, yards are drying up too, which is causing problems for the pools in those yards.
Julie Floyd had her pool put into her Georgetown backyard less than three years ago.
“We’ve noticed that it is starting to move and come up out of the ground, just like the foundations are shifting,” Floyd said.
Her pool, the slide and the rocks surrounding it are lifting up out of the ground leaving big gaps.
“It is becoming structural. It’s too early to tell if we have a leak at this point in time, but if we do have a leak, then essentially they’ll have to tear everything apart and start again,” Floyd said.
Trevino said he sees these types of problems everywhere.
“I would say probably a good percentage of them, maybe seven out of 10,” Trevino said when asked how many local homes are experiencing drought or foundation problems.
Prevention is straightforward: controlled water around your home’s perimeter.
Trevino suggested this simple fix. “If you’re maintaining say with a soaker hose or an emitter hose, you can do that three times a week…15 minutes each side,” he said.
Watering your foundation by hand could actually make your problem worse.
“When you’re just hand watering, you’re not controlling the water that intakes to the soil around the perimeter of the home,” Trevino added.
Floyd wishes the messaging on conservation would include recommendations to prevent foundation damage.
“I think it’s equally as important from our officials to say, be careful with your outdoor watering, but also at the same time to conserve our structures,” Floyd said.