Houston’s Heat & Your Home
How hot does it get in Houston and how does the heat affect your home? There are days of 90-plus degrees Fahrenheit which are common temperatures throughout the summer in Houston, while the nights seldom get cooler than 70 degrees. On average, June, July, and August see the temperature top 99 degrees. Along with the crazy heat, you may experience damage to your Houston foundation.
You are told to be careful when doing activities outside during these hot summer days because the heat can do damage to your health. However, these high temperatures can also damage your Houston home and you may not know it until the cost of a foundation repair becomes involved. While Houston does not have particularly low humidity, the high temperatures can wreak havoc on your home's foundation. The home can become damaged inside and out, from the roof down to the foundation.
Once the ground under the home starts to shift due to extreme heat, it can do permanent damage to the home's foundation. The damage can result in you needing a foundation repair expert coming in to tell you whether the foundation can be saved and how much it will cost to fix. Let's look at a couple of ways extreme heat can affect your home and possibly the foundation, with possible ways to prevent it from happening.
1. Heat and the pipes in your home.
Your plumbing may be the victim of Houston's intense heat. There are plumbing pipes running under your home. These pipes let water in and out of your home every day. The pipes are connected to each other and sealed at the joints where the connections occur. So how can heat affect the pipes and result in needing a foundation repair?
The excessive drying of the soil under your home during dry, hot summers can cause shifting in and around the foundation of your house. The shifting can cause the water lines under your home to disconnect or rupture. The water mains can crack or leak and the resulting moisture can damage your foundation, making it necessary to call in a foundation repair expert. There are a few things that will prevent this from happening. It is important in the hotter summer months to keep the soil around your home watered and well maintained.
You should also have a plumber check the seals and caulking on your pipes with the other regular maintenance of your home to help prevent needing a foundation repair. Make sure your home does not have large trees next to the foundation. A client of ours recently had a large oak tree removed that was beside their home after speaking with a tree expert at our agriculture department. We told her the tree roots will gravitate to the piping under her home in search of water during the dryer summer months. This can also damage your pipes and create a foundation issue, making a foundation repair necessary. Therefore it is important to keep large trees away from your home when you do not have a root barrier system in place.
2. Heat and your foundation.
The foundation of your home can be directly affected by the hotter temperatures Houston experiences in the summer months. When the ground under your home is disturbed for any reason and the soil starts to shift you may develop foundation issues, requiring a foundation repair expert to examine your home. The foundation of your home is designed to use the continuous support of the soil surrounding it. The heat during the hotter months of the year will cause the soil to lose moisture from evaporation. The soil will dry out and shrink as the evaporation continues.
The ground can develop cracks and may start to separate from the foundation. This can potentially cause permanent damage to the home's foundation, resulting in a possible foundation repair. The extent of the damage will need to be evaluated by a foundation repair expert. The cracks that can develop when the ground drys out may cause future problems as well. When the rainy season comes the cracks will fill with water. They will retain water because the dried-out soil has trouble absorbing all of the moisture from the rain.
The water can cause mold and rot to occur on the footings of your foundation. Making sure the soil retains its moisture during the hotter, dryer months by having a good irrigation system around your home is a good way to prevent this type of damage. Installing a sprinkler system will cost you some money. This is nothing compared to the cost of having a foundation repair expert come in and repair your foundation. It is important that the soil retain a consistent amount of moisture during the hotter months of summer in Houston.
Tree roots can also directly affect your home's foundation, as we mentioned before. Trees need water in order to survive. You may be watering around the perimeter of your home on a regular basis. However, large trees will take moisture from the soil and cause erosion under your home's foundation. Removing large trees and taking good care of the landscaping around your home will go a long way towards preventing foundation problems and having to call in a foundation repair expert.
Houston's weather isn't all bad
Houston is a beautiful place to live and there are many activities to participate in all year long. It is a wonderful place to buy a home and raise a family. However, living in a place that can experience these extreme temperatures that we have discussed can have its drawbacks, one being your home's foundation. The weather takes a toll on the entirety of your home. It is extremely important that you have regular maintenance done on your house. One thing to take note of is that you can experience foundation issues with your home whether it is new or decades old.
Temperatures, both hot and cold, can have negative effects on your home in many ways. Do not wait until you have to call in a foundation repair expert to realize the importance of regular maintenance on your home and the foundation that holds it together. Your home's foundation is one of the most important things to keep well maintained. However, a foundation repair is not a death sentence to your home. A foundation, good or bad, will determine whether or not your family will have a lifetime of making memories while living there.