Shifting building foundations resulting from drought in Abilene, Big Country

POSTED: 8:12 PM Feb 18 2013   UPDATED: 9:37 AM Feb 19 2013
ABILENE, Texas -

Shifting building foundations become more common as soil compacts from a lack of rain.

The clay based soil of west Texas is often subject to changes in the weather.

During drier times, the soil compacts, only to expand when the rain comes.

The prolonged drought, though, has made for soil that has compacted so much, it can't expand to what it once was.

The result? Foundations of homes and other buildings are shifting and settling.

Charles Parks, CEO of Abilene Foundation Repair, points out that two signs of foundation damage are cracks along the brick and mortar of a wall and windows that are separating from the walls.

Indoor indicators include, cracks in the sheet rock and doors that don't close properly.

The cost to fix a foundation often runs between $1500 and $20,000, depending on the extent of the damage.

In order to prevent damage before it starts, professionals recommend keeping standing water away from the foundation using gutters.

And keep soil moist, not soaking wet, using a soaker hose around the perimeter of the house. Turn the hose on once a week for about half an hour.