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Extreme drought causes home foundation cracks across the Valley

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The crippling drought in North Alabama isn't just hurting farmers and drying up water sources, it could also threaten your home. Foundation repair experts say this is the busiest they've been, in the company's 15 year history.

“The last time we saw a drought like this was in ‘07," says Ben Bayless, the owner of AFS.

From afar, the Drach family's home looks in pristine condition. “Very frustrating," says Jesse Drach. “Inside, we have several cracks getting bigger and bigger.”

When you take a closer look, you can see major cracks have formed, both inside and outside.

The owner of AFS, a local foundation repair company, says this happens when the rain stays at bay.  “These foundation issues are directly linked to the drought," says Bayless.

Drought conditions affect foundations because when the soil dries, it actually shrinks, causing the foundation to shift or crack.

Unfortunately for homeowners, there isn't a lot you can do to prevent these foundation issues from popping up.

In Texas, many owners actually water their foundations. “They’ll set out a soaker hose to keep the soil from shrinking. My experience is, that doesn’t work in Alabama because we have a little bit different type of soil conditions," says Bayless.

There are several signs that you might have a cracked foundation.  “So you’ll see cracks in the brick cracks in your drywall, and you can also start to lose your molding inside the base or even see some of your outside doors are not closing the way that you want to," he says.

The Drach's aren't the only ones by any means. Out of all the services AFS provides, “right now, the only thing we’re doing is foundation repairs," says Bayless.

The demand has been so high for foundation repair, AFS has had to buy more trucks and says it will at least be three weeks before they can come inspect your home.