Protecting your foundation is important. Without a proper foundation, your home could experience serious structural issues and eventually begin to crumble down. Because of this, proper foundation maintenance is crucial.
Regular maintenance will not only keep serious foundation issues at bay, but it will also help keep repair costs low. This article will help you learn some good ways to properly maintain your home’s foundation.
Check out the following foundation maintenance tips to guide you through the proper maintenance of your home’s foundation.
1. Schedule a regular plumbing inspection.
Ideally, the inspection should be done yearly. Plumbing leaks are one of the biggest causes of foundation issues. Check for leaks in sprinkler systems, freshwater lines, sewer lines and other parts of your plumbing system.
If you find a plumbing leak, contact a professional plumber as soon as possible. The first thing that a professional plumber will usually do is run a hydrostatic testing. This type of testing helps identify plumbing issues that we can and can’t see.
2. Have a root barrier installed.
If needed, install a root barrier. A root barrier installed around your property will help protect your foundation from invasive root systems. Invasive root systems can cause heaving in driveways and sidewalks, cracking in walls and sometimes sewer lines issues.
Common trees with invasive root systems include Silver Maple, American Elm, Willows and Hybrid Poplars.
A root barrier is usually installed three inches deep and is made up of material such as metal or plastic. These barriers help direct roots away from your property.
3. Protect your foundation from large trees.
Everyone loves the look of a majestic tree in front of their home. However, what many don’t know is that trees can pose a significant threat to your home’s foundation.
Trees need moisture for it to live. One large tree can consume as much as 150 gallons of water. A tree may absorb this water from the soil surrounding your home through a process known as transpiration. Over time, this can cause damage to your home’s foundation.
Avoid planting trees such as Weeping Willow, Qauking Aspen, Eucalyptus, Norway Maple, Chinese Tallow, and Mulberry Tree. These trees have very deep and strong roots that can damage your home’s foundation.
Experts recommend planting trees at least 15’-30’ away from your house. This, however, should depend on the type of tree that you wish to plant.
4. Make sure that your home is on a proper slope.
A proper slope is one that ensures water flows away from your foundation. This type of slope is known as “Positive Slope.” Otherwise, it’s called “Negative Slope.” A negative slope is bad for your foundation as it causes water to flow toward your home’s foundation.
Properly grading the ground around your foundation is essential. According to experts, your yard should be two percent or ¼ inch per foot.
Yard grading can be laborious. However, with a little sweat equity, it’s something that you can take on as a DIY project. If you consider doing it yourself rather than hiring a professional, here is a step-by-step guide.
5. Install a good drainage system for your home.
Foundation upheaval is often caused by too much water around a foundation. You’ll notice it when your foundation rises above its intended position. A common cause of foundation upheaval is negative sloping.
A negative sloping directs water towards a foundation rather than away from it. It’s for this reason that you should ensure that your property has a proper slope. Gutters and downspouts also play a major role.
You should ensure that your gutters are regularly cleaned. If you don’t, rainwater may overflow onto the siding or foundation. Your downspouts should also be a regular part of cleaning your gutter system. To unclog a clogged downspout, you may need to insert a plumber’s snake into the downspout.
If you still have drainage problems even after regularly cleaning your gutters and downspouts, then consider installing a surface drain. You could also install a French drain if the soil surrounding your home seems to be always damp.
6. Maintain consistent moisture level around your foundation.
The moisture level around your foundation should be consistent throughout. If it becomes exceedingly wet or dry, it may cause foundation issues. With a water control program, you may be able to prevent lots of damage.
During dry periods, it’s important to water your foundation. You may either use an automatic lawn sprinkler for this job or use an underground foundation watering system. This may be considerably expensive but it’s highly effective.
7. Inspect your home for insects, cracks, and damage.
The deterioration of your home’s foundation can be hastened by various factors such as trailing insects and cracks. A routine property inspection can prove valuable in this regard. If you notice any holes or hairline cracks, have them plugged.
Some details to consider when you first notice a crack are:
- Possible leaks in the home
- Rain exposure
- Subsequent changes in the crack’s size
If the size of the crack increases, consider contacting a foundation repair specialist.
8. Monitor your home’s temperature.
The temperature of your home should always be maintained at a steady level. Fluctuations may cause your structure’s concrete slab to expand and contract. This may cause foundation damage.
9. Install a sump pump.
If you have serious water damage in your home, consider installing a sump pump. A sump pump is a pump that is placed inside a water collecting tank built into the ground. Installing it can provide additional support by alleviating pressure on your home’s foundation.
10. Consider keeping a foundation log.
Keeping a foundation log can help you track any changes that occur in your foundation. The log can also be extremely valuable to a foundation repair specialist in the event your foundation needs repair.
A home’s foundation is the basis for its structural integrity. When compromised, it can become a structural and safety issue. Foundation problems can become a nightmare for homeowners if left unaddressed. To prevent issues, you need to regularly maintain your foundation. Refer to this article for guidance.