WASECA, Minn. - It started small in Howard Edwards' home in Waseca.
"Doors will start dragging either on the floor or on the top," said Edwards.
Initially, Edwards chalked up the changes in his home to the age of the house. Built in the late 1970's, he figured the house was just settling a bit.
The doors started to swing differently, the windows didn't quite open and close the same way, but then the tile floor of his newly remodeled basement bathroom cracked.
"We had water engineers out to find out if our water lines were broke, sewer lines were broke," Edwards said.
As it turned out, there wasn't a broken pipe or line to be found.
More experts were called in to take a closer look and they found more cracks in the walls of other rooms in the house, along with cracks in cement blocks of the basement.
"The geological engineer basically says well, I've seen cracks like this and it's been caused by drought," explained Edwards.
Not convinced, he got another opinion, with the same answer. "It all basically boiled down to the drought," he said.
Homes in his Waseca neighborhood were built on top of what was an old marshy area. While much of it was filled in with soil, clay sits below that soil. The lack of rain caused the clay to dry and crack, kind of like how sand cracks in the desert. It caused the Edwards' home to lower several inches and forced thousands of dollars in repairs.
"It's right up there, tens of thousands of dollars right around $40,000 dollars so far," said Edwards.
It took days for construction workers to fix the home and now the house rests on 17 pipes that were dug nearly 60 feet below into solid soil that contains a consistent amount of moisture.
The Edwards' are not the only ones in the neighborhood with the problem. Another home across the street from them had the same exact thing happen.
Throughout all of this, Edwards did learn something about preventing it from happening. He says one way is to water and flood the area around your house, however be cautious because too much water could pose an entirely new set of problems.
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