DFW Weather: How to care for your home in the heat

Watering your lawn not only keeps the grass and landscape alive, it also helps prevent the soil around your home from shrinking like a drying sponge.

DALLAS – As summer in Texas soars to near-record temperatures, the potential for human catastrophe is obvious. But your house might also need a little TLC.

“We’ve been extremely busy,” said Brian White, assistant operations manager at MedStar, which operates 65 ambulances and covers 436 square miles of Fort Worth and 14 surrounding counties.

MedStar’s heat-related calls for assistance from May 1 to July 5 are up 89.9% over the same period last year.

“Take precautions, hydrate before you go out,” White said. “And if you start feeling dizzy, nauseous, start cramping like that, stop sweating, listen to your body and take a break.”

And for all of you who may be new residents of North Texas, you may also need to listen to your house.

The Perma Pier Foundation Repair of Texas runs an entire YouTube channel on the subject. “Shift Happens” is the online show where they talk about all things foundation, including foundation repair and the impact Texas weather can bring.

The theme for this time of year is that watering your lawn not only keeps the grass and landscape alive, it also helps prevent the soil from shrinking like a drying sponge.

“And as the ground starts to pull away from the structure, the foundation, and we get these cracks in it, it just continues to contract and contract and contract,” said Justin Bryant, director of sales for Perma Pier.

“As it contracts, the soil no longer supports the structure, and so the weight of these houses starts to drop. And the way to stay ahead of that is to keep it moist, not just around the foundation, but the yard as a whole,” he said.

Perhaps difficult, as many neighborhoods in North Texas are also facing water restrictions right now. Bryant said, keep that in mind, too, with your best bet to water at night.

“So if you have watering restrictions twice a week, you just have to do twice as much on those two days. It’s easier to prevent that by being ahead of the game and doing that maintenance,” he said.

So when first responders send alerts, remind us of the very real dangers of Texas heat to our children and our pets, remember that “shifts” happen too. An example of something to be wary of, as the “joys” of summer are just heating up.

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