How drought places pressure on your home’s structure
Droughts affect communities and our environment in many different ways. The most obvious is a water shortage which leads to the death of animals and plants. In turn, there is a considerable reduction to food.
But did you know droughts can cause major damage to buildings too? Serious droughts have an impact on infrastructure, large and small buildings alike including your home. Especially if your home’s been built on reactive clay soil.
How does a drought affect the reactive clay on which my home has been built?
Reactive clay soil is a dense material which expands and contracts throughout different weather conditions. When it’s wet and cool, it expands. But in the case of a drought, the evaporation of moisture is extreme.
Drought causes reactive clay to shrink and causes your home to sink. This sinking, known as subsidence to structural engineers, puts extreme stress on your home’s structure. It can even cause damage to your home’s foundations.
If you’re experiencing a drought, the damage to your home won’t become obvious right away but the signs will eventually show.
Here’s what you need to look out for.
Cracks around the house
Drought could be taking its toll on your home if cracks have appeared throughout it. Sinking caused by drought places pressure on your house foundations. This pressure eventually reveals itself as cracks.
These cracks usually appear stepped in both your internal and external walls. Cracks can also appear in your ceilings and cornices.
Gaps between your walls and floors and bouncing floors
As the foundation underneath your home dries and sinks, your floors may sink too. This will cause gaps to appear where the base of your walls meet the floors.
Sinking of your house foundations can also cause floors to become bouncy when you walk on them. This is because the ground could be pulling downwards unevenly from your home’s structure.
Misaligned door and window frames
As drought draws moisture out of the ground, your house foundations may sink unevenly. This means what was level won’t be level anymore.
Because your home’s foundations are uneven, doors may hit the floor when you try moving them. And walls may squeeze windows so tight you won’t be able to open them.
Floors that slope or sink in the middle
If you’ve placed a ball on the floor to find it rolls from one side of the room to the other or rolls into the centre, drought is impacting your home.
The reason is unevenness of your home’s foundations due to sinking.
Has your home been impacted by drought?
If you’ve experienced a drought or are experiencing one now you may have seen some or all of the indicators we’ve mentioned in this post.
If you’re concerned and would like your home checked, we’d be happy to help.