How Does Baton Rouge Weather Affect My Foundation?

Have you experienced foundation problems in the past? Or have you inspected your foundation and noticed the tell-tale signs of damage? Aside from planning a call with a foundation expert for repairs, you may wonder what caused your damage. Knowing the source of damage can help you prevent further issues in the future. There are many causes of foundation damage, including soil erosion and poor construction. But for residents of Louisiana, you know the damage that volatile weather can wreak on our properties. Do you know how Baton Rouge weather can affect your foundation? Let’s look at Louisiana’s weather over the years to learn about its impact.

A Recent History of Louisiana Weather

Since 2016, South Louisiana has been rampaged by extreme weather. In August 2016, two days of heavy rainfall accumulated 20 to 30 inches of water. This weather event led to flash flooding and the overflow of several river basins in the area. An estimated 50,000 to 75,000 structures in the Baton Rouge and Hammond areas experienced flood damage. In the days following the catastrophe, the National Weather Service and NASA classified it as a “1000 year” rain event. 

Again in May 2021, another flash flood occurred, accumulating 13.7 inches of rain in just a few hours. Even without flooding, Baton Rouge homes are no strangers to heavy rains, hurricanes, and extreme weather conditions. While summer and early fall are notoriously wet months, they are often followed by a dry season. But after the skies clear, the debris is cleaned away, and the ground begins to dry, damage can linger. Now, residents must inspect for the damage that Baton Rouge weather may have done to their foundations.

The Dangers of Moisture

Louisiana, and South Louisiana especially, has very rich, alluvial soil. While this soil is excellent for plant life, it can make things tricky for a homeowner. Unfortunately, Baton Rouge weather extremes can cause foundation issues to come to the forefront. The dry months following the wet summer season is when foundation problems can rear their head. 

When Louisiana experiences wet months, the soil absorbs as much moisture as possible—even to the point of saturation and beyond. When the soil absorbs the water, it expands. Then, when the moisture levels drop, the soil subsequently contracts. This shifting is often the cause of foundation problems.

If your home is on a slab, there may be a void where the soil was previously well-packed. That void can lead to an uneven sinking or sagging in your slab. This movement of your foundation may cause it to crack. Cracked foundations may show symptoms in other areas of your home as well. For example, you may notice cracks in your walls, windows that stick, or other signs inside and outside your home that indicate foundation problems. Soil movement can also cause issues with raised foundations, such as pier and beam foundations. The supporting beams can shift and cause the same signs of damage.

What Should Homeowners Do to Protect Their Foundations?

As a Baton Rouge homeowner, don’t let the weather create severe foundation issues. A great place to start is by ensuring that your property has proper drainage solutions. Sump pumps, catch basins, and other drains can help direct water away from your home. These solutions can help prevent your soil from becoming oversaturated. If you aren’t sure what drainage option is best for you, WCK Foundation Repair can help! 

Homeowners can also inspect their property for signs of damage, especially after particularly heavy rainfalls. Here are a few pointers for inspecting different types of foundations.

For Slab Foundations 

Cracks in the foundation can be a sign of damage. Check for cracks in the concrete slab or along the foundation’s walls. While hairline cracks are not a reason for concern, wider and longer cracks can indicate bigger problems. If this crack extends to the exterior of your home and down to the footing, you should schedule a professional inspection as soon as possible. Unevenness can also indicate soil settlement or movement. Walk around the house and check for areas where the slab may have sunk or heaved. 

Monitor doors and windows for dysfunction. If you notice that doors and windows are sticking or difficult to open, this may indicate foundation movement. And don’t forget to check your home’s exterior! Look for signs of foundation damage, such as cracks in the brick or stucco.

If you are unsure about the condition of your foundation, it may be best to hire a professional to inspect it. They can use specialized equipment to determine if there are any issues with the foundation.

For Pier & Beam Foundations

Like slab foundations, pier and beam foundations can have many of the same interior and exterior signs of damage. Look for cracks in your walls, doors, or windows that aren’t functioning correctly and uneven ground around your foundation.

Unlike slab foundations, pier and beam foundations can be at risk for moisture and mildew buildup. Moisture can lead to rot and other problems with the piers and beams. After heavy rains and wind, follow these inspection steps:

  • Clear out any foliage and debris swept under your home.
  • Look for any signs of moisture or water damage in the crawl space underneath the house. 
  • If you notice rot or damage, contact a foundation expert as soon as possible.

These steps can help you prevent damage to your pier and beam foundation! But if you are interested in a professional second opinion, don’t hesitate to reach out to WCK Foundation Repair.

Baton Rouge Weather Is No Match for Our Foundation Experts

If you notice signs of potential foundation problems, you should call someone immediately to assess the damage. But don’t trust this assessment or possible repairs to someone unfamiliar with the uniqueness of Louisiana soil! 

With 40 years of foundation repair experience, WCK Foundation Repair understands how Baton Rouge weather affects the ground your foundation is built on. As a member of the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors and a Capital Region Builder’s Association member, our knowledge and expertise are locally unparalleled. 

Contact us today for a free estimate for potential foundation repair. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at 225-664-5956. You can also send us a message to take the first step toward protecting your foundation.

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