As Realtors in Texas there is no doubt we talk a great deal about foundations!! It’s important to not only know the condition of the foundation of a home you are buying or selling, but it is also very important to maintain your home’s foundation throughout ownership!! Foundation maintenance should be a regular part of your yard upkeep! Undoubtedly, foundation repairs can be quite costly, so below are some tips as to how to protect your investment!!
- If you see minor cracks in your home, don’t ignore them. Write down where you found the cracks, and measure how long they are. Check the length of the cracks every couple of months or so. If the cracks are getting longer, it may be time for you to get a specialist to inspect your home and your foundation.
- Maintain a constant level of moisture for the soil around your house. The soil you find all over the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex can absorb and lose considerable amounts of water. During months of heavy rain, the soil will swell up when it becomes wet. During the summer and other dry months, the soil will shrink. This constant expansion and contraction put stress on the foundation of your home. To prevent possible damage, you may need to use soaker hoses to keep the moisture level steady. Watering your home foundation won’t fix your current foundation problems, but it will slow down the rate of deterioration.
- Provide drainage away from the foundation perimeter and ensure there is no standing water near the foundation wall or slab. This may encourage even moisture content underneath the slab and reduces soil movement under the foundation slab.
- Make sure the trees around your home aren’t causing problems for your foundation. Check with a specialist, especially if the trees around your home are large. Be sure to water the trees around your home in the dry season. This will prevent adjacent areas of the soil from having different moisture content, which can cause problems with your foundation. Don’t be too stingy with the water, as large trees can absorb up to 150 gallons of water.
- Keep the ground elevations of the flower beds around your home 3 to 4 inches below the slab. The flower bed should be sloped away from the foundation for proper drainage. Doing this keeps the moisture from seeping into the wall system or inside the home.
- Maintain a steady temperature inside your home. This will help prevent (or at least reduce) the tendency of the concrete slab to expand and contract. That means you shouldn’t let too long a time pass when you don’t heat or cool your home.
- Check for leaks inside and around your home. This includes checking your sewer line, potable water lines, and the plumbing system. Leaking water can cause adjacent areas of the soil to have different moisture content, which will damage your foundation.
You might also consider an annual inspection as part of your ongoing foundation maintenance program.
Information Source: Thomas Engineering (817) 576-1973