10 Tips For Preventing Foundation Problems

Although you might not appreciate it, your home’s foundation is an essential component of your house. If it is not strong enough, your home faces the risk of crumbling. Taking care of your foundation is, therefore crucial. Foundations in Texas face an even greater risk: The extreme weather, water, changing temperatures and soil erosion can lead to serious foundation problems. If you don’t want to deal with foundation repair, the following tips will go a long way in protecting your home’s integrity.

1. Timed sprinkler

If the soil is too dry, it shrinks and contracts. Further contracting will make your foundation unstable. Instead of waiting for the ground to dry up, you can be proactive by installing a water sprinkler that waters the foundation every morning and evening for around 30 minutes. A timer controls the sprinkler system.

2. Proper Drainage

If too much water gets into the soil, it expands dramatically and exerts pressure on your foundation walls making them unstable and weak. Installing a good drainage system will clear away any ponding water that is likely to accumulate within areas and depressions near the foundation and redirect it to a discharge point away from the foundation walls.

3. Good downspouts

The downspouts are meant to redirect rainwater from your roof to the ground. You should make sure that they are properly cleaned to avoid blockage. You can install extenders to direct the water at least five feet away from your foundation. Instead of directing water to the ground, you can also bury a downspout diverter to redirect the water to a storm drain or another spot in the yard.

4. Soil saturation during dry periods

During drought months, the soil usually gets very dry. A sprinkler system may not be enough. You will need a complimentary watering system to keep the ground properly saturated to prevent contracting and shrinking that may cause the foundation to crack. You can have French drains installed to assist the sprinklers in watering deeper parts of the soil. You can use a soaker hose to water around the house regularly to keep the ground moist.

5. Foundation grading

Observe your lawn for a moment. Is it flat or does it slope away or towards your house? The soil needs to slope away from your house to redirect water away from your foundation walls. You can achieve this by grading the yard at least 6 inches per every 10 feet. If this sort of grading is not possible, you should have a French drain installed.

6. Embed foundation

Keep a substantial amount of compacted soil around your foundation. You should at least embed it 2” below the brick line. An embedded foundation will assist the soil to retain its moisture content, especially during the dry periods.

7. Keep trees away

Tree and shrub roots can suck all the water from the ground, especially during the dry period, leading to foundation problems. To prevent this from occurring, plant the trees and shrubs at a significant distance away from your house. A rule of thumb: If the tree branches are close enough to touch any part of the house, the tree is probably too close.

8. Keep short shrubs

If you have to keep shrubs around the house, make sure they are at most three feet tall. It will prevent further development of the roots thus helping to avoid sucking all the moisture from the soil by the shrubs.

9. Proper positioning of lawn sprinklers

Lawn sprinklers are necessary. They keep your grass healthy and green all year- round. You should correctly position the lawn sprinklers to avoid watering the foundation. Too much watering can also redirect the excess water to your foundation leading to long-term problems. You should not forget to turn off the sprinklers during rainy days. The combined watering punch might direct some of the water to your foundation.

10. Proper planning of concrete features

You should build the concrete driveways, landscaping paths, and sidewalks in a manner that directs water away from the house. It will prevent the water from ponding near the foundation. You should employ wisdom while designing new concrete construction around your house. For example, erecting large concrete constructions on one side of the house and a watered garden on the other may lead to an imbalance.

Employing these ten tips will save you a lot of trouble in the future. They not only protect the integrity of your foundation but also the entire house in general. If you notice signs of foundation trouble, stay on top of the problem and contact G.L.Hunt for a free estimate. We offer quality and reliable foundation repairs in San Antonio, Dallas foundation repair, and Fort Worth foundation repair services with a commitment to customer service and a job done right.