What areas of town have been the most affected by recent drought conditions?
This is all about soil type, and soil type is about geography. Drought conditions will affect different soils in varying levels of severity. Foothill area geology contains a mix of boulders, expansive clays, gravels, sandstone, shales, and loose sands. Rock formations and dissimilar soil materials make for lovely photography, but unfortunately, usually make for unstable building environments. These soils are the most heavily impacted by extended drought conditions. Areas of town like Rockrimmon, Old Colorado City, Manitou Springs, and the westside of Colorado Springs will see more impact extended drought conditions.
To the north and east, between Woodmen and Northgate Rd, the ground is so sandy that even a drought lasting multiple years may not create noticeable structural problems on a large scale because the active zone retains so little moisture even during normal years that there is not a great deal of significant soil volume loss when it is dry. East of Powers, homeowners historically beleaguered with persistently high water tables may temporarily see some relief.
What signs will I see that my home has been impacted by the extended drought?
The most obvious sign of drought related soil settlement is foundation cracking. As the soil contracts with loss of moisture, it loses volume and settles. In some cases, this might not be noticeable at all to the naked eye. In other cases, it could be extreme settling, which is anything over 1″ of settlement. This will cause foundation cracking to be noticeable.
The amount of time that it takes for foundation cracking to occur should also be taken into consideration. If a crack appears suddenly, changes size or shape, or is joined by other cracks, then it is a sign that soil settlement is rapidly occurring.
What do I do to stop the settling and foundation cracking?
The first step is to have a foundation repair evaluator come out to take a look at your cracks. Estimates from these professionals are usually free, so you won’t be wasting money if you don’t have a problem. If the evaluator finds a foundation settlement problem based on the cracks, then they will be able to provide you with a cost of repair, an engineered plan, and a permanent solution.
In many cases, the foundation can be repaired and permanently stabilized using deep foundation piers. These piers look like large metal tubes and they are hydraulically driven deep in to the soil around your home. The piers rest on bedrock, or other stable soil and your home is permanently stabilized.
If you have questions or concerns about foundation cracks in your home due to the extended drought in Colorado Springs, contact Peak Basement Systems today at (719) 260-7070 or visit us online at www.peakbasementsystems.com. You can also get lots of great information on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/peakbasement.