UPDATE: Chicago Drought May Cause Foundation Cracks, Wet Basements
Our blog post published on July 13 warned homeowners in the Chicago area that the lengthy hot, dry spell the area is experiencing may be causing serious damage to their homes’ foundations.
When drought conditions persist like they are now across much of the country, soil around our homes begins to lose its moisture through a process called desiccation. Trees and shrubs, often planted close to houses, extend their root systems deeper and wider in search of water they need to survive. When this water is drawn out, it shrinks the soil that had contained it.
Shrinking soil next to foundation walls can create pathways for water to enter our basements when it does begin to rain. When soil shrinks under the foundation, the problem may be more severe if the foundations settles or shifts, causing cracks.
To underscore the severity of the problem, I was asked by Chicago’s WGN-TV to appear live on its Midday News to explain to homeowners just what might be happening. Here’s the video:
If you'd like to know what a conservative approach to fixing your basement problem would cost, take a look at an earlier blog on basement waterproofing costs.
If you have noticed any new cracks in your foundation or can see gaps along your foundation walls, take the advice of the WGN reporter and call in the professionals. At U.S. Waterproofing, we’ve waterproofed more than 300,000 basements in the Chicago areas since 1957. When WGN needed a professional, they called us; maybe you should, too.
Have questions about your basement? Please post them in the Comments box below.