Although predominantly known for its warm climate, many parts of Australia experience seasonal weather changes. Some of these changes can be quite severe, with prolonged droughts being alternated with lengthy rainy seasons. And although the hot weather is something most people prefer over biting cold, prolonged heat can have an adverse effect on your foundation by causing extreme changes in the soil. You should be especially wary of erratic weather changes when you live in an area characterised by clay soil, as this land can experience drastic changes when exposed to excessive heat or moisture. Here are a few of the ways that erratic weather changes could lead to the need for foundation repair.
The soil beneath and surrounding the foundation pulls away
Although the ground on your property will typically be compacted before the foundation is constructed, you should note that certain soils have a proclivity to change when exposed to severe conditions for an extended period. When temperatures are high, drought creeps in, and the soil starts to lose all its moisture. As a result, the soil begins to contract and will steadily pull away from your foundation.
If this process is not inhibited, your foundation will be at risk of damage as its slabs or piers become exposed to crack formation. Before you know it, the foundation begins to move, and this can put your entire structure at risk. It is recommended for homeowners living in drought-stricken areas to engage in routine soaking of the soil that surrounds their home to protect their structure from undue foundation changes.
Tree roots start to intrude on your foundation
Another concern to have regarding your foundation and hot weather is root intrusion. When moisture starts to become a scarce commodity in the soil, tree roots begin to extend outward in an attempt to find the hydration they require. When these questing roots come into contact with your foundation, they do not stop their search. Instead, they will begin to burrow into the foundation, which will result in gaping holes and extensive cracks in the foundation's structure.
Since these questing roots are underground, you may not notice this damage until your structures' stability has started to show signs of being compromised. Luckily, there are a couple of ways to try to prevent this type of foundation damage. One option would be to install root barriers to keep the root system at bay. Secondly, consider relocating the trees further from your primary structure when drought strikes.