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A Strong Foundation: How to Protect the Backbone of your Home

Every home needs a strong support system to hold it up. If your home’s foundation is not in tip-top shape, it might be time to make a few repairs or implement some ongoing management techniques. Moisture and dry soil are two of the primary considerations for proper foundation management. In order to make the most efficient and resilient repairs, you will probably need to alter the circumstances that caused your foundation problems in the first place. When it comes to foundation trouble, soil swelling is perhaps the biggest culprit. These tips will provide the know-how needed to ensure your home keeps standing strong.

During extended periods without rain, the soil around your home’s foundation should be watered to maintain an adequate level of continuous moisture.  

Water Drainage

One of the most frequent causes of soil swelling is a plumbing-related leak. Water leaks should be repaired immediately to prevent foundation damage. Inadequate water flow and drainage near the foundation also causes soil to swell. Examine the ground around your home’s foundation after a rainstorm to ensure water is not collecting. It might be necessary to regrade your property to ensure rainwater drains far from your foundation.

Additionally, our gutter downspouts must transport rainwater far away from the foundation to avoid areas of pooling near the base of your home. Downspouts should direct the water away from your home, and should discharge the water a minimum of three to four feet from the structure.

Depending on the complexity of your property and drainage issues, you might want to solicit the professional assistance of a foundation repair contractor.

Dry Intervals

During extended periods without rain, the soil around your home’s foundation should be watered to maintain an adequate level of continuous moisture. The goal is to keep the soil ground water content consistent around and under your foundation. You can use a soaker hose to water the ground 24" to 26" from the perimeter of your home. Foundation repair professionals warn that property owners often wait too long to water around their foundation, resulting in splits and cracks within the soil. Splits and cracks are most likely to form during the hottest times of year—especially July, August, and September. Establishing a watering plan for dry intervals is an important part of foundation management, and can prevent the need for future foundation repairs.

Vegetation Near The Home

Plants such as trees such as cottonwood, mesquite, and weeping willow have substantial shallow root systems that absorb water in the soil. The Department of Housing and Urban Development recommends that trees be planted no closer to your home than their tallest potential height. So, if a tree can grow up to 30 feet, it should be planted no closer than 30 feet from your home. Vegetation with large, shallow root systems can grow under a shallow foundation, and as the root base grows in size, it could create an upheaval within the foundation.

Foundation Management is Key

It is very important to carefully monitor the conditions of the soil around your home to catch any issues that might require action on your part. When such an issue becomes apparent, take the proper action to stabilize your soil promptly—do not ignore the warning signs. Doing so can result in the need for more elaborate foundation repairs down the road. Catching an issue early and addressing the problem in a timely manner can save you time and money in the long run.

A Strong Foundation How To Protect The Backbone Of Your Home,
part of our article series in the Foundations & Retaining Walls category.
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