Foundation Care Tips for Summer

 

Summer is right around the corner and when the seasons change, so do the needs of your home’s foundation. It’s easy to forget your foundation when it comes to home maintenance, but it could be the most important thing you do to preserve your investment.

 
Remember to maintain consistent moisture levels

    • Watering the foundation: In areas (like ours here in the Tri-State) with clay soil, it’s crucial to maintain consistent moisture levels around the foundation. This will help prevent soil from expanding and contracting against your walls. Use soaker hoses or drip irrigation systems to keep the soil evenly moist, but avoid over-watering.

Proper drainage:

    • Check gutters and downspouts: Ensure gutters and downspouts are clean and direct water away from the foundation. It is important to keep stormwater at least 6-20 feet away from your foundation.
    • Grading: Make sure the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation to prevent water leaks, pooling, or hydrostatic pressure. A slope of 6 inches over 10 feet is generally recommended.

Inspect for cracks:

    • Regular inspections: Conduct regular inspections of your foundation, looking for cracks or signs of movement. Small hairline cracks are common, but larger cracks may indicate a problem. Take photos and measure the width and length of the cracks to track any changes.
    • Professional assessment: If you notice significant cracks or any changes in the size of existing cracks, consult a Licensed Structural Engineer for a professional assessment.
    • Repair cracks: Once your cracks have been examined by an engineer to determine the type of crack and the best repair method, reach out to us for a quote to seal them. We use professional grade (you won’t find them at Lowe’s or Home Depot) epoxy products and application methods to retain the structural integrity of the wall and prevent leaks.

Control vegetation:

    • Tree and shrub placement: Avoid planting trees and large shrubs too close to your foundation. Tree roots can grow under foundations, causing them to lift and crack. They may also clog pipes, or absorb too much moisture from the soil, causing it to dry out and potentially leading to foundation issues.
    • Root barriers: If you already have trees near the foundation, consider keeping them trimmed or installing root barriers to prevent the roots from growing under your home.

Monitor soil movement:

    • Soil shifting: Pay attention to any changes in the soil around your home. Sudden depressions or mounds can indicate soil movement, which can affect your foundation. Or if you have any hills, look for trees growing like the below photo, a potential indicator of hillside creep.

Inspect Plumbing:

    • Check for leaks: Inspect your home’s plumbing system, including irrigation systems, for leaks. Water from leaking pipes can saturate the soil and cause foundation problems.
    • Professional inspection: Have a professional plumber conduct a thorough inspection if you suspect any hidden leaks.

Control Humidity Levels:

    • Dehumidifiers: Use dehumidifiers in your basement or crawl space to control humidity levels and prevent excess moisture, which can weaken the foundation and promote mold growth.

Help prevent costly foundation repairs with these summer tips. Please feel free to reach out via our online contact form for more information or guidance.