When it comes to foundations, they are absolutely crucial, and unfortunately vulnerable! Every home needs a stable foundation. The foundation is what keeps a home level, sturdy, and able to withstand the elements. A key part of this is being able to maintain your home's foundation - and save yourself thousands of dollars in potential repair costs by keeping the foundation well-cared for year round instead of waiting to do the repairs later! From doing at home inspections to managing the water level around your home, here are all of the tips and tricks to maintaining your home's foundation.
Watch For Cracks
Cracks in a foundation can range in shape and size, but finding them around your home is rarely a good thing! While some cracks may be purely cosmetic, there is a chance that it could be the first warning sign that there is something going on with your foundation. To be safe, it is probably best to get the crack inspected and know for sure if it's something to worry about, or not!
Inspect For Damage
You know your foundation - and that's a good thing! Inspect it every few months to make sure that everything is still looking in order. Insects can cause a lot of foundational damage, so you will want to make sure that you are patching any holes or cracks to prevent them from getting any further into the foundation. If you have a crawlspace, be sure that you are looking into the crawlspace itself to check for any signs of moisture, mildew, or wood rot. This can cause severe problems!
Consistent Water Levels
One easy step to take to maintain your foundation is to keep the soil around your house watered to a consistent level. Too wet, and there can be more damage. Too dry, and it can also cause more damage! This is because the soils will expand and contract as the water levels change, leaving the foundation on a rocky, constantly shifting base. This will cause it to crack or slant or shift into different places. The best way to water your foundation in the summer months is to use an automatic sprinkler or a soaker hose to keep the dirt at a consistent level of damp. It is important, though, to leave a bit of space between the hose and the foundation to prevent the water from causing erosion.
Good Foundational Drainage
As important as it is to water your foundation, it is also important to be sure that there is not too much water around the foundation. Generally, when the foundation is too wet, it can rise above its intended position. Sloping your lawn away from your foundation will ensure that the water doesn't pool around the foundation, it sloughs off to another area. Gutters should also be configured to keep the water away from the foundation, by extending them past the edge of the foundation.
Slope Your Lawn
As mentioned above, sloping your lawn is a key piece of maintaining your foundation's water level! The ground around your foundation should be sloped to a lower height than the height of your foundation, and you should be sure that if this is not possible, you have another kind of preventative in place, such as a moisture barrier.
Watch For Large Trees
Large trees can mess with the soil around a foundation, whether that is by taking the moisture from the foundation or by working their roots into the foundation. A large tree can take up as much as 150 gallons worth of water in a day, so keeping these large trees about 30 feet away from the foundation guarantees that you will be able to keep your foundation in one piece.
Think About a Root Barrier
If a tree is closer to your home than the recommended amount of space, be sure to install a root barrier that will prevent a large tree from working its roots into your foundation!
Watch Your Plumbing
Generally, it is recommended to inspect your plumbing yearly. Leaks can wreak havoc on a foundation, and they can occur in sewer lines, freshwater lines, sprinkler systems, or any other parts of your plumbing system!
While it may seem like a long list, the tips mentioned above can be very simple to implement! These few changes can save you thousands on foundation repair in the long run, and give you the peace of mind that your home remains uncompromised. If you feel that your home needs an inspection, know the warning signs, and reach out to Allied Foundation today! You can call and schedule a free estimate at any time, and give yourself the peace of mind that your home is in good hands.