Foundations and Landscaping

HOW IT CAN AFFECT YOUR HOME AND PROPERTY

Did you know that landscaping has a huge impact on foundation? This is especially true in North Texas, where our Texas Prairie Land Soils expand and contract according to the amount of moisture they are getting or not getting.

There are things you can do with your landscaping to protect your foundation and prevent it from shifting which can cause costly problems like cracks in walls, ceilings, floors, windows, bricks and more.

One interesting thing we have noticed during our many years of evaluating properties, is that many homeowners over-mulch and over-water the flowerbeds and shrubs closest to the house, this can cause heaving or swelling in the soil, enough to literally push your foundation your foundation up causing cracks in the foundation and other areas inside and outside your home.

It is better to apply a thin layer of mulch on these beds and allow for good drainage. If you use metal edging, for instance, punch or drill some holes in in the edging close to the bottom so water can drain through.

Trees need lots of water. In the summer a single large tree soaks up as much as 150 gallons of water daily from the soil. It is a good idea to plant new trees as far away from your house as possible to prevent their roots from snaking under the foundation looking for water.

If a mature tree is close to your house, and has been for many years, cutting it down can cause major problems. If the tree has been there for many years with, out causing problems, it has adjusted and is most likely fine unless you get a plumbing leak at some point. If a lively mature tree is cut down it can cause sever contracting in the soil, creating the possibility for the foundation to crack.

So in summery, water more in areas that get lots of sun, water less where there is shade. Consider planting some shade trees on the west side of your property, where the afternoon summer sun can be merciless (away from the house of course).

  • Water your tree roots on the side away from the house which will attract the roots in the opposite direction from your foundation.
  • Use organic fertilizers on plantings closet to the foundation. Some chemicals found in non-organic fertilizers can erode concrete.
  • Install sprinklers at least 5 feet from the house, and be sure the water sprays away from the foundation. Concrete absorbs water and will weaken over time from too much moisture.
  • Consider using drought-resistant plants and trees for most, if not all, of your landscaping. They require less water, incurring less action on your foundation.
  • Check your sprinkler system frequently to make sure there are no leaks or broken valves or heads – too much water in any one area, particularly close to the house, is not a good thing!
  • Be sure to slope the ground away from all sides of your foundation so water doesn’t pond next to it.
  • The key is to maintaining a balance between your house and its surrounding environment. If all the elements work in harmony your foundation will stay healthy.

For more information, questions, or to set an appointment to have your property evaluated at no cost, call Perma-Pier Foundation Repair.

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