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 temperatures top at 99 degrees. 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, but you may not know it until a professional inspects your home and foundation.
While Houston doesn’t have particularly low humidity, the high temperatures can wreak havoc on your home’s foundation. Once the ground under your home starts to shift due to extreme heat and dryness, it can permanently damage the foundation. Your home can become damaged inside and out, from the foundation to the roof. The damage can result in you needing a foundation repair expert to come in to tell you whether the foundation can be saved and how much it will cost to fix the problem. Let’s look at a couple of ways extreme heat can affect the foundation and possibly your home, and how you can prevent foundation damage.
1. Heat and the pipes in your home.
Your plumbing may be the victim of Houston’s intense heat. Plumbing pipes are 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. 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 and leak, and the resulting moisture can damage your foundation, making it necessary to call in a foundation repair expert. One way to prevent the soil from drying out and the foundation from shifting is to keep the ground around your home consistently moist throughout the summer.
You should also have a plumber check the fittings, connections, seals, and caulking on your pipes regularly to help prevent needing your home’s foundation to be repaired. As well, make sure your home does not have large trees next to the foundation. A client of ours recently had a large oak tree removed after speaking with a local arborist. Because the tree was too close to the home, its roots invaded the pipes under the foundation for water during the dryer summer months. This can also damage your pipes and create foundation issues, 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 that Houston experiences in the summer months. When the ground under your home is disturbed for any reason and starts to shift, a series of foundation issues may occur. 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. As a result, the ground can develop cracks and may start to separate from the foundation. This may cause permanent damage to the home’s foundation, potentially leading to 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 dries out may cause future problems as well. When the rainy season returns, the cracks will fill with water. They will retain water because clay soil has trouble absorbing all of the moisture from the rain once it dries out completely. The water can cause mold and rot to occur on the footings of your foundation. If left unaddressed, excess water, along with mold and wood-decay fungi, can ruin your floors, walls, electrical system and even cause structural issues.
Ensuring 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. While 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.
Tree roots can also directly affect your home’s foundation, as we mentioned before. Trees need water to survive. You may be watering around the perimeter of your home regularly during these months. 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, including potential foundation problems. Because the weather can take a toll on your entire home, it’s extremely important that you have regular maintenance done to your house. One thing to note is that you can experience foundation issues with your home, whether it is new or decades old.
Temperatures, both hot and cold, can negatively affect 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.