Neglecting your home’s foundation problems can result in severe and costly damage. Foundation problems can be caused by a number of factors, including poor pre-construction soil preparation, drainage issues, plumbing leaks, clay shrinkage due to evaporation and tree roots withdrawing water from the soil. Prevent home foundation problems with these rock solid tips.
1. Water twice a day: Set a timer on your foundation and sprinkler system so that it waters every day at dusk and dawn for 30 minutes. Add extra watering times during the dry months.
2. Drain water away from house: Don’t allow water to collect near the house. The soil can expand dramatically and put stress on your foundation walls. Install in-ground drains to help move ponding water within depressions or areas that may retain water near the foundation to a discharge point elsewhere. Downspouts can direct rain and roof runoff away from your house as well.
3. Implement proper grading: Proper grading ensures water doesn’t directly reach the base of your house and foundation walls. A good rule of thumb is to grade the terrain about 6 inches in 10 feet soil to slope away from your home.
4. Plant trees and shrubs away from your home: During a dry season, tree and shrub roots will compete with soil for moisture. This can cause your foundation to settle unevenly and form cracks. It’s wise to plant trees far away from the house.
5. Maintain moisture levels: It’s important to keep the foundation moist in order to avoid the soil from shrinking, especially during dry periods. Install rock beds to help sprinkler systems water the deeper parts of the soil.
6. Embed the foundation: Keep a proper amount of compacted soil around the foundation to help the soil retain its moisture content during the dry months. Try to embed your foundation up to 2 inches from the top of the foundation slab. Use mulch to help retain moisture.