Lately, it seems like Oklahoma has been getting rainstorm after rainstorm. And if you’re like most homeowners, you know the usual stormy weather drill. You’ve watched the weather reports, listened for tornado sirens, and worried about how flooding might affect the area where you live. But all this wet weather and excess moisture can cause a serious issue for your home that you may not have even realized — a weakened foundation that can impact the structural integrity of your home.
What do we mean by record rainfall?
Northeast and north central Oklahoma have had a much wetter spring than normal. According to the Tulsa World, rainfall in our area is 335-337% greater than usual, setting new records for the wettest spring ever in our area. That’s more water than our drainage systems, lakes, and rivers can easily accommodate — and that means our soil is wetter longer, and standing pools of water are larger than usual too.
Why is so much rainfall a problem for homeowners?
Excess moisture is a killer for your home’s structural integrity. Too much water can cause a host of problems that can affect your home’s foundation. The biggest issue for homeowners is how wet our soil has been recently. Why is this so?
Our Oklahoma clay soil expands and contracts, depending on how wet or dry it is. When we get as much rain as we’ve had recently, the soil around a home is likely to expand and contract much more dramatically than usual, punishing the home’s foundation.
What happens to a home during flooding or heavy rains?
A home is built in layers, so to speak. Each level of a home’s structure relies on what is underneath it. So when things go wrong at lower levels, you’ll start to see problems that can eventually ruin a house if not properly and promptly addressed.
With our record heavy rainfalls, your home may be suffering silently in ways that you can’t immediately see, such as:
- Excess moisture making its way underneath the foundation and staying there instead of draining away, causing the foundation to shift
- Heaving, which occurs when frequent soil expansion and contraction pushes up on the foundation, causing the slab to move
- Other issues may be very visible and obvious to the naked eye, including:
- Cracks in and around doors, windows, concrete floors, and drywall
- Windows and doors that get stuck or seem to have shifted out of place
- Chimney that is leaning or showing cracks
- Stair-step cracks in brick and other masonry
What signs of foundation damage should you be on the lookout for?
With as much rain as we’ve had lately, Oklahoma homeowners would be wise to inspect their homes — inside and outside — regularly to watch for damage. You may see evidence of damage right now, or signs may begin to crop up over the next several months as the summer heats up, the soil contracts, and delayed damage begins to appear.
You may have already noticed some things happening on your property that are not part of the regular spring routine. Among the issues you’re likely to see due to our record rainfall:
Pooling water around your home’s foundation
Your gutters may not be handling the heavy rains well, or your soil may be too wet to allow for proper runoff.
Cracks in interior and exterior walls
These may be totally new cracks, existing cracks that have gotten worse, or a combination of both.
Mildew and mold growth
You may notice musty odors, dampness in areas that are normally dry, and even mildew or mold growing in dark areas like closets.
If wires in your home have been affected by flooding, excess moisture, or a shifting foundation, you’re likely to experience short circuits and other electrical issues.
Increased moisture in crawl spaces
Heavy rains can lead to pools of moisture underneath your home. This attracts pests, provides a breeding ground for mold and mildew, and weakens your foundation over time.
How do you ensure your home is safe after heavy rains and flooding?
Have your foundation checked
The number one thing you should do right now is set an appointment with a trusted foundation repair company to have your foundation professionally inspected. An inspection is a smart move for every homeowner in our area right now — and it doesn’t matter whether your home experienced flooding or not.
Heavy rainfalls can cause all manner of complications that simply don’t occur when the weather has been normal. So, even if your home is normally in great condition during the spring and summer, it may not be doing as well as it should due to this spring’s crazy rainfalls.
The only way to be sure you don’t have excess moisture trapped beneath your home or eating away at your foundation is to have your foundation thoroughly and expertly checked.
Waterproof your crawl space / basement areas
Once you have addressed any issues that have arisen due to the overly abundant rain we’ve had this spring, it’s time to consider an added layer of protection. Waterproofing equips your home to resist water incursion and protects your foundation from damage caused by too much moisture. If your home suffers from moisture issues, it’s a good idea to waterproof it and safeguard it from future risks.
Act Fast to Prevent Foundation Issues from Growing Worse
Record rainfalls and flooding may have left you wondering about the condition of your home — but there’s no reason to wonder about your foundation any longer. Turn to Oklahoma’s foundation experts — Edens Structural Solutions — and put your mind at ease! Be assured your home is safe with our thorough, straightforward process:
- We do a full inspection to identify any issues the recent extreme weather has caused.
- We set up a plan that corrects foundation problems—done right.
- You enjoy a home that retains its value and is safe.
Contact Edens Structural today for a free consultation to ensure your foundation, basement, and crawl spaces stay in top condition, so you can have peace of mind about your home.