How Changes in Weather Cause Foundation Problems

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016 By Jaimie Hooker

What is foundation settlement? Simply stated, settlement is the movement your home experiences when the soil below can no longer support the weight of your home.

The soil used to support your home just fine. What changed? Most likely the soil changed.dry soil tar heel basement systems

There are two major changes in soil that can affect your home’s foundation.

-Dry periods

After months or sometimes years of drought, clay soil dries out. When clay dries, it shrinks. As the amount of soil below your home shrinks in size, an empty space is created for your home to settle into.

-Wet periods

As clay soil gets wet, it holds onto the water and become very soft. The soft soil can become weak, causing the home to shift or ‘sink’ down into it. In some ways, it is similar to when you step in mud and your foot ‘squishes‘ into the soil.


When it rains and clay soil gets wet, it expands. As clay soils expand in size it puts a lot of pressure on your basement walls. When pressure becomes more than the wall can handle, the wall will begin to push inward.

What should homeowners do? The constant cycle of wet and dry periods means that settlement in a home is never over. The ONLY way to know settlement is done is to FIX the problem, not ignore it.

About the author
Jaimie Hooker is the Assistant Marketing Director at Tar Heel Basement Systems; authoring case studies, technical papers, creating and captioning photo albums and managing website content. She also oversees the organization of video testimonials, shows and events, Jaimie lives in the small town of Madison, NC with her husband, Paul, and 3 year old son, Franklin.