Dave: We talked a little earlier, y’know, we haven’t had rain in like, since 1987. So, y’know, that’s good for my basement not leaking. I have Tom DiGregorio on the Home Fix-It hotline. How’re you doing today, Tom?
Tom: Great, Dave. How’re you doing?
Dave: I’m doing great. Y’know, Georgia seems to have even less rain then the rest of America does. We get less rain here. I guess some people got some rain yesterday, but we’re way behind in rain. So, that’s good for my foundation, right?
Tom: Uh, no. That’s actually not good for your foundation. It may not, it may not leak but unfortunately what’s going on with these draught conditions, extended now and, according to Kirk Mellish, another six months it’s going to be abnormally warmer and drier. Which is creating a situation where the soils are so dried out now, that they’re literally pulling away from the bottom of the footing and the sides of the foundation walls and creating for more settlement problems. And the dirt doesn’t have the ability to hold the load of the home anymore. So, we’re getting settlement issues. And the other thing with this extreme heat, we’re getting very, very high humidity conditions now going into the Summer which is wreaking major havoc on crawlspaces…from mold growth to excessive energy bills trying to cool your home. So there’s a lot going on with these dry, humid conditions we have right now.
Dave: It doesn’t sound like any of it’s any good. We’re gonna blame most of this on Kirk Mellish. Is there an even bigger problem, if we go, say, ‘til July with substantially less rain and then we have a, just a really wet July where it just soaks everything? Are we…are houses that haven’t leaked before more susceptible to leaking now?
Tom: Absolutely. Because the soil is literally pulling away from the wall, it’s creating a natural, open path for water to get in. So, when we do get some inches of rain again, it is going to immediately push up against the wall, create, not only leaks but a lot of pressure especially on block walls that will cause them to bow and in some cases literally blow out, if they’ve already been cracked and compromised. Water will then rush under the footing and, and literally cause some settlement issues ecause the whole situation is now becoming exacerbated with the heavy rains.
Dave: Is the…is the weight of the dirt pushing against the foundation…that’s built into the calculation for building a foundation, right?
Tom: No. Not really. I mean, you build the home according to code. But nobody can account for the swelling and contraction of this, of this red clay that we, that we have all over Atlanta here. So…it’s something that you have to just kind of keep an eye out. Look for the symptoms and, of course we would be happy to come out and look. You’d want to be looking for cracks in your sheet rock, cracks in your brick veneer, floors that are unlevel, doors and windows that are sticking. If you have a crawlspace, it’s just that time of year where there’s such humidity conditions under the home, that it’s literally a haven for mold growth. So, all of that mold-infested air is coming right up into your home, creating lots of moldy and musty smells and unhealthy conditions.
Dave: I just thought, I just figured that was part of the game for living in the South. That’s just,… you live down here, you take your chances.
Tom: Well, you do. But it’s all correctable and you can create for a much more energy efficient situation, much more healthier environment for the occupants um, and the wood itself. Y’know, there’s just a lot going on right now.
Dave: Yup. Even though there’s nothing going on right now, there’s a lot going on right now. And one good way to check, and this is where, Tom DiGregorio from AquaGuard who’s on the Home Fix-It hotlines…this is where you guys come into play because you can give AquaGuard a call today. And you guys will come out and do free, a free little inspection on the foundation. As well as give estimates on the crawlspace work, right?
Tom: Absolutely. If we come out, do an inspection, I don’t know if they mentioned or not, but we’re… have us out for a free inspection on anything you suspect may be an issue and we’re goihg send you to dinner on AquaGuard. We’ve got a fifty dollar…
Dave: There you go.
Tom: …gift certificate to one of the fine restaurants on restaurants-dot-com and just for having us out and letting you know whether you do or don’t have an issue and what your options are for repair if you do.
Dave: Very good, Tom DiGregario.
Other DJ: Hey Tom. Do we, uh…good question. Do we want it to rain or not?
Tom: Well, we really do. I mean, we really do. We need it for all kinds of reasons. But uh, yeah, we need to start hydrating the soil. Obviously plant life needs it. And and we need to try to balance things out. But right now, we’re…I believe…at least a third below our average rainfall right now. And according to Kirk, it doesn’t look like it’s gonna get a lot better in the next three to six months. So…
Dave: Nope. Well, we, we gotta scoot but thanks for the update because I was curious. Y’know, you wouldn’t think, “Huh…no rain? It’s no problem.” But it is a problem and it can be a worse problem when the humidity sets in. We’ll talk more about the AquaGuard deal. Thanks Tom…Tom DiGregario from AquaGuard…for his update. It’s ten-fifty-one on your Saturday morning. It’s raining men…