As with most issues, it’s far better to avoid foundation issues in the first place than it is to try and repair them after the fact. While damage to your foundation can sometimes be unavoidable, there are steps that can be taken before, during, and well after your home’s construction in order to mitigate the chances that your foundation will incur damage down the road. Below, we’ll take a look at few useful tips that you can use to help protect your home’s foundation.
Install a Drainage System
One of the leading causes of foundation damage is excess water gathering around the foundation. Water erodes away the soil beneath your foundation, causing your foundation to settle which can create cracks and gaps. In order to prevent your foundation and the soil beneath it from being exposed to excess water, it’s important to install an effective drainage system.
French drains can be put in place in order to provide water with a downhill path away from your foundation. You’ll also want to install downspouts in order to direct rainwater that rolls down your roof away from the base of your home.
Proper grading is also important for keeping water from gathering around your foundation. It’s recommended that you slope the terrain around your home so that there is a six inch drop every ten feet.
Keep Your Lawn Watered During the Summer Months
While too much water can certainly be damaging to a foundation, not enough water can be damaging as well. When the soil beneath your foundation dries out, it loses density, which may cause your foundation to settle.
During the summer months when there isn’t enough rainfall to keep your soil from drying up, it’s a good idea to make use of a sprinkler system to water your entire lawn – especially around the base of your home – twice a day.
Use Proper Fill Material
When you are constructing a new home, it is important to place fill material beneath the foundation before it is poured in order to provide the foundation with extra support. This fill material is simply high-quality soil that is tightly compacted prior to putting in place the foundation.
To keep your foundation from settling, you’ll need to use the right fill material as well as tightly compact it. The fill material should be quality soil, and it should also be homogenous – if the fill material is made up of multiple types of soil, it will be difficult to adequately pack down. If the fill material is not adequately packed down, your foundation may settle over time.
Plant Trees and Shrubs Away from Your Home
In times where water is scarce, trees and shrubs drink up what water that is available in the soil, drying the soil out even further. If you have trees and shrubs planted too close to your home, there’s the risk that they might suck up all the moisture from the soil beneath your foundation, which, as we’ve already covered, can create problems.
Place Mulch Around Your Foundation
Placing mulch around the perimeter of your home helps regulate both the temperature and moisture of the soil around your foundation. You can also use soil or wood chips to accomplish the same purpose.
Repair Cracks Right Away
If your foundation does begin to crack, it’s essential to have those cracks repaired right away – no matter how small they might be. Tiny cracks are much easier and less expensive to repair than large cracks. However, tiny cracks will almost inevitably turn into large cracks over time if they are ignored.
If you notice any cracks in your foundation or other signs that it might be damaged, contact a foundation repair expert as soon as possible. There may be a simple fix that will repair the small amount of damage to your foundation will also helping prevent future damage.
Being proactive to prevent damage is important, but being proactive to keep damage that already exists from growing even worse is absolutely essential.
What to do if Your Foundation Does Incur Damage
Taking steps to prevent issues with your foundation is the best thing that you can do to avoid costly repairs. However, sometimes issues are unavoidable no matter how much you do to try and prevent them.
If you notice signs that your foundation is cracking, shifting, or settling, we urge you to contact us right away. At Abry Brothers, we’ve helped countless homeowners repair the damage to their foundation while also providing them with long-term solutions to help them avoid any further damage in the future.
The sooner you repair the damage to your foundation, the better off you will be. If you would like to learn more about how the foundation repair experts at Abry Brothers can help, we invite you to contact us today.