2011 Drought: Making Your House Crumble

The soil around your home may be tearing it apart, and the 2011 Drought is making it worse. The culprit is clay soil – which covers most all of Texoma. It expands when wet and shrinks when dry. That causes the ground to expand and contract, taking your home for a ride.

The problem is getting worse this year, because of the extreme drought. "In normal years we're about a foot down that everything is dry and right now were 4 to 5 feet down.  That is just really dry," said Jared Golden. Golden is General Manager of AAA Guardian Foundation Repair.

Golden's crews have been busy this year working to fix the problems. "The biggest signs that people will notice is when the brick starts to crack on the outside. You're going to notice separation around the windows cracks inside the house on the sheet rock, doors that aren't working properly anymore," said Golden.

To fix the problem his crews dig holes 6 to 10 feet along the foundation and drive pre-formed concrete cylinders down to load a bearing rock strata. The process requires a team of six highly skilled workers to labor for several days. That labor is very expensive. An average job will cost between $5K-$10K.

You can prevent the problems from getting to the point of needing serious repair. "Put the soaker hose down, run it about 8-10 inches out from the house, run it once a day in the morning between 5:30-7:00 a.m. for about 30 minutes every day," said Golden.

That is not a cure-all. Some shifting will still happen. "It will prevent a lot of damage, but it will not stop all of it. A lot of these houses are going to have damage. They are best off if they call us and catch it before it becomes a bigger problem," said Golden.

Paul Harrop, Newschannel 6