Southern Texas Weather and How it Impacts Foundations

The weather varies a lot in Southern Texas, which can have many consequences. These conditions can all affect soil condition, which can then have an impact on your foundation. This means that you always need to be on your guard in order to stop problems before they start. Here’s what you need to know about how the weather conditions in South Texas can impact your foundation:

Heat

Heat, droughts, and dry spells can create problems for your foundation. When the soil becomes dry and shrinks, it can pull away from the foundation. This causes more air to circulate around and increases moisture removal. This extreme lack of moisture can lead to cracks in the foundation. Severe dry spells can cause foundations to buckle and deteriorate. The gap created between the soil and the foundation during dry spells creates space for water to settle and come into contact with the foundation when the rain starts falling again.

Rain

The impact of rain on your foundation depends on a few factors. Adequate drainage is important for protecting your foundation. Another factor is the type of soil. You are most likely going to find expansive clay soil around homes in Southern Texas. This type of soil is known for expanding and contracting more than other types, and that can lead to foundation issues.

Rain will cause the soil to expand and push against the foundation. The type of foundation also affects how it will be impacted by the rain. A slab concrete foundation will sit on the expansive clay soil and be affected by its contracting and expanding. This will cause cracks and shifting in the foundation. If the foundation is pier and beam, it will be suspended above the soil, but can still be affected by the shifting of the soil. It is also vulnerable to rotting and mildew.

Flooding

Just like with rain, flood waters can damage your foundation. The rapid movement of water pushes against the foundation of homes and buildings. This action plays a part in weakening the foundation and the stability of your home. Flood waters will more easily and deeply penetrate soil. This soaking of the soil can impact your foundation by causing it to settle more. This settling causes shifting that affects the stability of the building. Foundation pilings that are not load-bearing will be more susceptible to movement and breakage.

Cold Temperatures

During the cold months in South Texas, your slab or pier and beam foundation is susceptible to damage. The frost line, though shallower than in other parts of the country, can impact the foundation. Because the frost line is shallow, the foundation depth doesn’t need to be more than 18 inches. Pipes are buried below the frost line to prevent freezing, but this isn’t always a guarantee. When the temperatures become cold, it’s a good idea to wrap pipes so they don’t freeze and burst. When water pipes burst, the water can penetrate the foundation causing it damage.

Different times of year affects your foundation in different ways due to the varying weather. The good news is that in most cases you can protect your foundation from the worst-case scenario.