Oklahoma's Extreme Heat Could Affect Your Home

Tuesday, July 5th 2011, 7:51 pm
By: News 9

Darren Brown, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The extreme heat that Oklahoma has experienced over the past two weeks is taking its toll on more than lawns, it's starting to damage homes. 

Robert Willis with Power Jack Foundation Repair has seen extreme heat damage up close.  Power Jack uses steel piers driven down to bedrock to level a home's foundation.

Anywhere that you find clay soils, during a drought like this you're gonna find contracting soil," Willis said.  "As that soil contracts, it allows the foundation of the home to fail and settle."

Like a sponge, Oklahoma's soil contracts, or shrinks during times of drought.  When that happens, empty spaces can be created under a home's foundation.  Without more soil to fill those spaces, a concrete slab can shift and create cracks in a home's interior and exterior.

Cracks in the wall or floor, and doors that are suddenly difficult to open are all symptoms of foundation damage.  

A soaking rain can cause the soil to expand, but the empty spaces under the foundation will continue to cause cracks.  Cracks may even appear to close up, but Willis warns that the problem doesn't go away by itself. 

"You will see some movement where they will close a little bit, but they're gonna widen over time," Willis said.  "The earlier you catch those problems the better off you are."