There are actions a homeowner will need to take in order to keep their home in good repair, but are you aware that foundation maintenance is one of them? Especially in North/Central Texas, where drought conditions are common, the expansion and contracting of the soil can wreak havoc on a house. Because of this, foundation maintenance is crucial to have a healthy foundation.
When the weather is hot and dry, soils shrink, and when there is an increase in rains as in the winter and spring, they expand. This is because Texas soil has a high concentration of clay, causing the foundation of a house to shift significantly, which can be extremely damaging.
Simple Steps to be Proactive in the Maintenance of Your Foundation:
WATER YOUR FOUNDATION:
This may seem kind of unusual, but it’s an important part of foundation maintenance. The goal is to keep your soil at a steady moisture level: neither dry and cracked, nor damp and muddy. Some suggest soaker hoses around the edge of the house, we have found through much research that watering like it rains is best. If you have an automatic sprinkler system it should have this covered. If not sprinklers around the exterior of the house is best. It’s usually a good idea to increase your watering of the foundation toward the end of the spring, before the summer heat arrives.
Trees and shrub usually require a significant amount of water, which tends to dry out the soil around your house if they’re planted too close to the foundation. You may need to put root barriers between your trees and your house, or you may just need to plant them further away. Keep in mind that improperly drained flowerbeds, which can trap water and effect the foundations stability.
You also don’t want water to pool around your foundation. Your yard should be graded in such a manner that that it slopes away from the house and drains properly. In addition, any drainage system runoff should be directed several feet away from the foundation.
KEEP YOUR HOME IN GENERAL GOOD REPAIR
Be especially aware of leaking faucets, air conditioner condensation, misdirected rain spouts and gutters, leaking swimming pools, and other repair issues that may be causing water to pool around your foundation.
SIGNS OF NEEDED MAINTENANCE
Common signs that your home is in need of foundation maintenance include floors and walls that aren’t level, bulges or divots in the foundation, and cracks in the walls and floors. You can also infer that foundation problems are responsible if doors suddenly don’t close correctly, or windows are difficult to budge. It’s best to solve these problems before you move in, by having a proper inspection done, but if you think your foundation is in disrepair, it may be time to call a professional who can help.