How to Properly Maintain Your Foundation

Since water is usually the main culprit and cause of most foundational problems, it should go without saying that properly maintaining the water around your house will also help you to properly maintain the foundation of your house.

During seasons of dryness, it is important to water the soil that is right next to the foundation of the house and keep in moist on a consistent basis.  This must be done so that the water levels in the soil that is underneath and nearest to the foundation of the house are at about the same level of moisture.  

The easiest way to go about doing this is with the help of a soaker hose.  Use the house about 2 to 3 feet from the foundation. Begin watering long before the hottest and driest periods arrive.  On many occasions, homeowners wait too late in the ballgame to begin their watering programs, and by then the soil already has cracks in it.  The hottest time of the year tends to be during the months of July, August and September. Therefore, you will want to begin watering long before this dry time of the year.

Another key to proper foundation maintenance is good drainage.  In order to prevent water levels from increasing near the foundation of your home, make sure that all surface water is draining a minimum of 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation.  Downspouts are to be directing away from the house to prevent water from collecting around the foundation. If you are unsure if your drainage is working properly, then inspect the ground around your home immediately after a rain shower.  There should be no water standing within 5 feet of the house. If there is water collecting, then check your gutters and downspouts, or possibly have the area regarded in order to correct the problem.

It is also important to know the types of trees that are growing near your home.  Different types of trees have different types of root systems, and trees with extensive shallow root systems can rob the soil under your home of water, which throws off the water moisture level.  As a rule of thumb, do not plant a tree close to your home that it will grow to be tall. Certain types of plants can also have similar root systems that can cause upheaval to the foundation if planted too near the home, particularly in the case of a shallow foundation.  

The best thing you can do to properly maintain your foundation is to be watchful.  Routinely observe your foundation, especially during times of extreme moisture fluctuation and note any sign that might indicate a potential problem with your foundation.  Be proactive and put up tree barriers, install proper drainage and maintain the soil moisture levels around your home. If you see any signs that alarm you, call a professional foundational repair company immediately to get a free estimate and good advice.