Drought Takes Toll on Home Foundations

Some companies report twice the normal number of calls

The extreme heat and lack of rain in North Texas this summer is a one-two punch for home foundations, and some repair companies report double the normal number of calls.

“You just get through the ones in the order they’re received,” said Justin Bryant, vice president of Arlington-based Perma-Pier Foundation Repair of Texas. “Yesterday we took over 500 calls.”

Bryant said drought conditions are the worst in years.

The wet winter gave way to an incredibly dry summer.

"The soil collapses,” he said. “As it collapses, houses move or shift or sink with that. And then we get calls."

It happened to Ronald Kelley’s house in South Arlington.

He noticed cracks forming along the bricks on the side of his house, which he build 42 years ago.

“You think the worst,” he said.

Perma-Pier scheduled a routine fix: Installing pilings under the house to re-level and stabilize it.

It’s a one-day job.

Kelley, a retired motel owner, had to pay more than $5,000. Insurance policies rarely cover foundation repairs.

“No more cracks,” Kelley said. “I don’t know if I’ll sleep any better but I’m glad it’s taken care of.”

Experts suggest keeping your lawn watered to avoid foundation problems. If soil separates from the foundation, water that area especially well, they say.

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