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Drought conditions are damaging some Minnesota homes

Minnesota homes sustaining drought-related damage
Minnesota homes sustaining drought-related damage 01:51

SAVAGE, Minn. -- Structures are struggling because of our dry summer.

Katie Molitor has noticed small cracks in her home in Savage getting longer and deeper. There are also cracks in her back patio and on the exterior of her foundation walls.

Andy Berreth with Innovative Basement Authority says these are symptoms of a house on unstable soil. Drought conditions are one of the causes.

"What happens is the soil will actually shrink," Berreth said. "As it dries out, it shrinks and when it shrinks, voids actually will occur under the foundation itself."

He says the house then twists and torques, and cracks can form in drywall. Windows and doors can get stuck closed, too.  

"What we need to do is come out and actually excavate around the corner of the home," Berreth said. "We need to get this home set back on stable soil."  


Berreth says virtually any house can be susceptible to this, but homes built into hills or on slopes are particularly at risk.

"If you've got exposed exterior walls, look for any horizontal or vertical or stairstep cracking. And then on the inside of your home, look at the drywall above your doorways and your windows," he said.

Repairs can run several thousand dollars, but Molitor feels the longer she waits, the more costly it'll be.

"Once it's fixed, it's fixed," she said.

Watering your lawn can help prevent the soil from getting dried out.

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