Wet Weather Can Cause Foundation Woes

The storm that soaked Texoma early this week might be great for the land, but when the rains come down and the floods come up, all that water could be the worst enemy for a home's foundation.

Lesa and Johnny Holder live in an 80-year home that has flooded twice -- one that had lots of signs of foundation damage.

"You could see where the corners of the house were shifting underneath the house," Lesa said.

Foundation Specialist David Hairston says water is usually the main culprit in causing a foundation to shift.

"Because of the soft soil here, it makes it real mushy, and therefore the foundation tends to drop down," he said.

But if you get enough water, it can even push the foundation up, which also causes problems.  So would a rainy day like Wednesday be enough to shift the walls of your home over time?

"If they have improper drainage, if you don't have the proper drainage around your foundation, you don't have gutter, yes," Hairston said.

A slipping foundation, can be evidenced by a stair step cracks between the bricks.  It can also cause doors to drag, and create gaps in the molding.  To fix it, Hairston has to literally jack the entire wall up.

If you have problems with your foundation, it could take some time to get it fixed.  Lifting just one wall can take up to three days.  Doing a whole house -- ten days to two weeks.  And it's not a cheap repair, either, likely costing upwards of $1,000.

The simplest way to prevent problems -- "Get rain gutters, and you also wanna make sure that you've got proper drainage around your house.  The dirt and the land should slope away from the foundation," Hairston said.

To the Holders, other house repairs pale in comparison to having a firm foundation. "Without having a solid foundation, there's no sense in doing any other repairs.  The foundation is where you start," Johnny said.

Hairston also says tree roots can push up on a foundation slab, and sometimes houses don't have a deep enough footing in the ground at construction.  Foundation problems caused by the rain aren't usually evident until a few weeks later, when everything's had a chance to dry out.

Spencer Blake, Newschannel 6