Midwest Drought Dilemma: Weaken Basements

The Midwest is getting hit hard this summer with relentless, extreme heat with no reprieve in sight.   Because of these conditions, many residential and commercial basements are being plagued with foundation issues – especially in the St. Louis metro area.

dh (2)[1]The greater St. Louis area is largely built upon clay-rich soil.  During this dry summer – after draining all of the moisture – the soil is so dried out that it begins to crumble and shrink.  Why is this dangerous for your home?  The shift in the soil can cause disturbances to the support of your basement.  When the soil dissolves, the structure begins to shift.  This can cause faults in your foundation – anywhere from little harmless lines to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.

A recent article by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch profiled these conditions and what local residential contractors felt were the root cause of basement issues. According to an employee of Perma Jack, this year’s drought is even more substantial than the dry years of 1987 and 1988.  The professionals at Helitech warn that homes or businesses near large trees are especially at risk.  Dave Thompson explains that older, mature trees require a substantial amount of water to stay hydrated – upwards of thousands of gallons.

The most important factor when trying to keep your house or commercial space safe is to have an insurance company you can trust.  If you are experiencing issues with drought-related foundation issues, be sure to contact Daniel and Henry Company.  We have risk and insurance professionals standing by to answer any and all of your questions.