You cannot see your home’s foundation, but now is not the time to have an “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy. Your foundation is one of the most important aspects of your house’s structure. When you do not have a good foundation, you will begin having problems, such as cracking walls, leaking pipes, or flooding. In fact, if pipes burst under your slab, it can ruin your plumbing, short out electrical appliances, and create mold and mildew problems that are unhealthy for your family and your pets.
You should understand the issues that can cause problems with your house’s foundation, as well as how to prevent them. These tips from our experienced staff will show you how to reduce these risks and maintain a healthy foundation.
1) Use epoxy to repair the minor cracks in your foundation. Over time, the concrete slabs will develop hairline cracks. It is important to repair them when they are minor and have not yet caused extensive damage. You need to clean out the cracks, and then fill them with epoxy glue or another similar material that is made specifically for repairing concrete cracks.
2) Make sure you maintain proper and consistent moisture levels; it is critical to keep your foundation strong. Keep the foundation moist when it is dry outside to avoid the problems caused by shrinking soil. Install a rock bed between 18″ – 24″ away from your foundation. It is one way to keep the ground moist by allowing sprinkler water and rain to deeply penetrate the soil. However, you need to be careful not to overwater your soil; water your lawn enough to keep the trees, plants, shrubs, and landscaping healthy.
Central Texas has been experiencing a drought recently, so you probably are not thinking about watering outside. Be aware of any chance of a rain storm even so. Adding the extra moisture to your foundation that can come with a long period of rain could cause the soil below your house to expand more than it usually would and damage your foundation in the process.
In fact, you should monitor the area around your foundation for water gathering after a rainstorm. If you find any water puddles, you need to install in-ground drains where needed. The water should drain into a gravel-filled basin positioned at a lower elevation.
3) You should have proper grading with the ground sloping away from your foundation. If you are not able to correct the grade around the foundation, install a moisture barrier at least 5 feet deep to minimize moisture migration under the foundation. Install an erosion control system, if necessary, in any areas with an extreme grade. The system will ensure the stability of the slopes and the foundation. Use materials such as grass, rocks, and concrete pavers.
4) Gutters and downspouts direct water away from your home and help prevent heaving of the foundation caused by excess moisture. Monitor damage from downspouts and gutters. Ensure downspouts are properly installed; they should discharge water about 5 feet from a foundation that is built on sandy soil and 10 feet from foundations that are built on expansive soils.
5) It is important to perform yearly inspections of the entire plumbing system that includes the sewer lines and sprinkler system. Check for leaks, and repair them as they are found.
Whether you are preparing to sell your house or just want to identify and repair a problem while it is easy to fix, your foundation needs to be inspected. Our evaluators are trained and educated in geological sciences, giving them the best tools and technology to formulate the correct solution for a long-lasting, quality repair. Contact us to schedule a free evaluation to protect one of the largest investments you will ever make: your home.