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How Colorado Summers Affect Your Foundation

House falling apart because of a foundation failure
House falling apart because of a foundation failure

It tends to get toasty in Colorado during the summertime. The summers here can be brutal, with temps going over 90 degrees most of the time, and it often stays pretty warm until mid-September. Luckily, due to the high elevation, Colorado does not have to deal with oppressive humidity levels. But how does the hot weather affect the foundation of Colorado residents’ homes?

As the heat in Colorado can become overbearing, it can cause damage to the soil on your property, and cause problems if you have a concrete slab foundation. Slab foundations are common in Colorado and they’re susceptible to damage when hot conditions arise. This soil damage or shrinkage often occurs when temps reach 90 degrees or higher; with a lack of rain, the soil can actually move away from the slab foundation because it’s so dry. It can also cause the concrete of your foundation to crack.

Also, it’s not just the summer that you should be concerned about. During the spring and winter months when it’s colder and there tends to be more snow, you should check that there isn’t too much moisture surrounding your homes, such as standing water, or puddles. It’s best to make sure that water properly drains away from your house year-round, as too much water buildup can cause foundation problems.

Sinking Foundations and Dehydration

The soil around your house usually tends to be moist, so when dehydration occurs during a heatwave, the soil shrinks, cracks, shifts, and can eventually fails to support your foundation. This is also known as settling.

Once settling starts, it will continue to do so until the foundation finds some form of support. So, if the soil has moved from your home due to the heat, the house will shift until it finds firm soil to re-establish itself. One to two months of such heat can be disastrous and, the after-effects will be damage not only to your foundation, such as slight sinking but also to your home with the evolution of cracks in the floors, walls, and elsewhere.

If you suspect possible foundation damage, you should do routine checks inside and outside your home for the following:

  • Possible cracks in the slab foundation
  • Uneven floors
  • Cracks in walls
  • Cracks in door and window frames
  • Stuck doors and windows

How To Avoid Foundation Issues

What’s quite fascinating is that this issue can be helped with one simple ingredient: water. Adding water around the foundation of your home has been proven to help prevent shifting and settling.

One method to keep the soil moist is to use soaker hoses. These are primarily used for gardening, and they don’t operate like a traditional hose. They’re also known as ‘weeping hoses’ because the water slowly seeps through the fabric and helps slowly saturate the ground. These hoses should be turned on roughly three times a week to keep the ground consistently moist, but not oversaturated. If you go this route, be sure to keep the hoses anywhere from 6-22 inches away from the foundation. The water will eventually seep into the ground and help keep the soil moist.

You can also run sprinklers if you have them. If you don’t have a built-in set of sprinklers, you can set up a regular garden hose to a portable sprinkler for about 15 minutes, so that the water sprays the ground around your house and keeps it wet. It’s best to do this during sunset, or once it gets dark because the water will evaporate if it’s done during the daytime when it’s hot. Keep in mind that you may have a slightly higher water bill, but it may be worth it than having to replace your foundation at an exorbitant cost.

Colorado Foundation Inspection

Our foundation experts will notice indicators and difficulties that indicate foundation degradation and the need for repair, some of which you may have overlooked or paid little or no attention to. Measurements will be gathered throughout the inspection, and damage and failing spots on the outside and inside of the home will be examined.

After that, a strategy for repairing your home’s foundation will be devised. The most crucial thing you may also want to hear is the projected cost of the repairs, which will also be addressed.

Schedule Your Foundation Inspection in Colorado Springs. When searching for the right home inspector, it’s important to find someone you can trust — and that’s why we are here for you. The inspectors at Pine Breeze Inspections are licensed by the State of Colorado, certified, and insured.