Are you looking to protect your foundation from summer heat?
Watering your home’s foundation is important for most homeowners in general. But in Texas, it’s absolutely essential. The summertime in this state is extremely hot and dry, which can really wreak havoc on your foundation.
When the soil surrounding your home doesn’t get enough water, it will dry out. This will affect your home’s foundation. As a result, the integrity of your house’s structure is in jeopardy.
Some areas in Texas see soil shrinkage of more than 15%. This has huge implications for a homeowner’s foundation watering schedule. In these areas, you could easily need to water your foundation on a daily basis.
In this article, we will go over the top tips and recommendations on how to protect your foundation during the scorching Texas summers. Follow these suggestions to ensure the structural longevity of your home.
How Does Foundation Watering Work?
Some homeowners never worried about foundation irrigation before moving to states like Texas. This practice is highly important because your home needs a stable soil surrounding its foundation.
Instability threatens the integrity of your foundation and increases the risk of damages that result in considerable repair expenses. While every foundation is built to be sturdy and well-balanced, this structure does need support from the soil.
The Texas climate with its frequent droughts poses a major hazard for the foundation of homes here. Many areas, especially in North Central parts of the state, have clay soil, making the foundations more susceptible to serious issues.
Image Source: David Trainer / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)
Dry soil doesn’t provide enough support for your foundation. When there is inadequate ground support, the foundation will begin to sink. In many cases, the soil contracts unevenly, which leads to uneven sinking, putting stress on the foundation.
The problems aren’t over when the drought ends, though. That’s because the first rainstorms can then flood your basement or other parts of your home. The foundation cracks formed during the hot summer may make it easy for the water to intrude into your house.
As you can see, the underlying foundation consequences of dry, hot weather have severe financial implications. It’s much cheaper to have irrigation systems in place before these problems arise rather than deal with the consequences of foundation damage later on.
Pick the Right Time
Start watering your foundation when you can see that your yard is beginning to dry up. For instance, there should be no gap between the soil and your foundation.
When things are getting too dry, you may be able to spot a gap between your home’s foundation and the surrounding soil. This is a sure sign that you need to start watering. However, we recommend watering before that happens.
Ensure Proper Drainage
An important part of the watering is making sure that the area surrounding your foundation has adequate drainage. You want to counter the dryness without creating muddy or even slightly soggy conditions in the soil.
Typically, the southwest corner of the house will need more water than the northeast corner.
Grow More Plants
Besides actual watering, you can take other steps to have better soil conditions around your foundation. It’s recommended that you landscape your property to protect its foundation, such as planting some shrubs and flowers around your home. There are numerous benefits to this practice:
- Plants provide much-needed shade during the hot summer months. The extra shade counters the intense evaporation of soil moisture.
- When you have plants with roots intact in the soil, the area surrounding your foundation is less likely to erode.
- Active growth of shrubs and flowers moderates soil temperature.
- You should add some mulch after planting because this provides an additional barrier to moisture evaporation.
Consider a Drip Hose
Hand watering is a possibility, yet it’s definitely not the ideal solution. Since you need to be consistent and systematic about watering your foundation, a manual approach is sub-optimal.
Instead, using drip hoses is a great method. You should place the hose about 10 to 16 inches away from the edge of your home’s foundation. Make sure to connect this system to your outdoor faucet with an automatic on/off timer.
Keep in mind that drip hoses have a slower rate of water release. Depending on your soil conditions and water release rate, you may need to water anywhere between 20-45 minutes. If all sides of your foundation are completely exposed, you may have to purchase 2-4 drip hoses, setting each side to a different watering time.
A drip hose is preferable over a soaker hose because it provide a uniform output of water along its entire length.
Image Source: Greg Pye “Soaker hose control” vie Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/gregpye/3669755336
Check that your drip hose has a working pressure restrictor. Since not all drip hoses have this restrictor, you may have to regulate your faucet so that the watering is steady and at a slower pace.
You should also check to see if your outdoor faucet comes with a backflow preventer. If not, you should install this component before connecting your drip hose to the outdoor faucet. Otherwise, dirty water is likely to re-enter your home.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Watering Your Foundation
You should ask yourself the following questions to clarify your foundation watering needs:
- What are the daily temperature highs where you live?
- What kind of watering system will you use for your foundation?
- What type of soil is surrounding your foundation?
- Do you have a watering schedule for other seasons as well?
The weather is far from mild in the summer in Texas. As a homeowner in Texas, you should be fully prepared to properly handle the heat. These hot and dry months call for a correct foundation watering schedule.
Here are our top tips for foundation watering in Texas:
- Grow plants around your home’s foundation to prevent moisture evaporation.
- Use a soaker hose instead of hand watering because you want to be systematic and consistent.
- Make sure that the soil surrounding your foundation has proper drainage. Overwatering the soil is an issue as well.
- Start watering before soil dryness becomes a major problem. Check the situation of your soil on a regular basis.
If you end up with any foundation issues, contact a professional foundation repair company, such as Granite Foundation Repair. We can help you solve any foundation problems you run into. Contact us today!