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The Effects of Indiana Climate on Structural Foundations

Has your house been creaking strangely of late? The sounds may be spooky, but they don’t mean the place is haunted. They may very well mean that it’s settling, and whether you live in Carmel, IN or anywhere else, any expert in foundation repair will tell you that this is not a good thing.

Dry soil in IndianaWhat’s Causing All the Motion?

A house has no choice but to move or settle when the soil beneath it contracts. This will often happen during a severe drought, and when it does, the sinking soil will pull the structure right down with it.

If you think a little rain will solve the problem, you’d be wrong. It will normally make it even worse, especially when a period of heavy precipitation follows a prolonged drought.

Extreme Weather at the Root

In recent years, the entire country has suffered from some wild weather extremes, and Indiana has not been immune. These rapid swings from hot to cold and wet to dry have wreaked havoc on more than people’s spirits. Foundations across the nation have failed as a result, although the precise way in which the damage occurs varies according to the type of soil involved.

Clay and Sandy Soils

Clay soils are present throughout Indiana. Even the loamy Miami soil for which the state is famous contains a certain percentage, and during a prolonged dry spell, expansive soils like these react by shrinking. This causes the structures they support to settle. If heavy snow or rain should follow, the clay particles will swell and push the building back up. Over time, these repeated up-and-down cycles of movement can weaken a susceptible foundation to the point of eventual failure.

On the other hand, the sandy soils that predominate near Lake Michigan and in the southwestern and north-central regions of Indiana react to dry spells by losing adhesion and pulling away from building foundations. When subjected to subsequent heavy rains or melting lake-effect snow, these soils may collapse completely, taking any buildings they support down with them.

An Accelerated Road to RuinClimate map of United States

Although these changes have historically occurred in a barely perceptible manner, recent weather extremes have sped up the process. When they get bad enough, foundations can do more than merely crack and crumble. Some may even split in half. It can be hard to predict whether any particular house will be able to withstand these increasingly severe forces of nature.

Don’t Wait for the Worst to Happen

The good news is that no Carmel, IN property owner has to leave his home at the mercy of the weather. The foundation repair experts at Ram Jack of Indiana can help yours survive these harsh conditions by patching existing damage and incorporating needed reinforcements. We’re ready to help you protect your biggest investment. For more information on foundation issues and the services we provide, visit our website or request a free estimate today.