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Detecting, defying drought effects on your home

How to minimize damage caused by drought

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SAN ANTONIO – You'd be hard-pressed not to find a home affected by a South Texas signature: drought.

But there are ways to help weather the side effects a lack of rain can have on your home, says Rick Reed, a general home contractor.

Your home's foundation is typically the first thing to be targeted.

"That's the No. 1 thing: the most important thing involved in your new investment," Reed says.

Minor cracks in the side of a home are often caused by drought, but won't typically cause big problems for the foundation of a home.

Reed says significant damage can be detected when cracks appear along the mortar lines of brick or stone.

His first suggestion for mitigating the drought effect?

"It's always good to keep a level moisture pattern around your house so it never sees one severe change to the other," Reed said.

A home sprinkler system or hand-watering can do the trick.

Also, be sure your landscaping is built on a slight downward slope going away from your home.

"That way when it rains, the water is going to be going this way," Reed said, motioning away from the house.

He also reminds homeowners to keep an eye on the condensation created by air-conditioning systems.

"It comes down the wall (and) has to go to outside. So this lets quite a bit of water come out to the outside on the ground," Reed said. "The key is keep it away from the immediate foundation area because its just constant during an eight-hour day."


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