Winter watering is just as important as watering in any other season!
One of the easiest ways to avoid foundation problems is by keeping the soil uniformly moist throughout the year. Foundation problems often arise from the expansion and contraction of clay soils. Hold the moisture constant and the soil won’t swell or contract, so it won’t bend or break the foundation.
In the Dallas Fort Worth area, winter watering may only be 20% of what is needed in August, but still, it is needed. Most sprinkler systems have a nifty percentage setting, which allows you to reduce the overall watering without adjusting each individual sprinkler setting. Water in the winter as summer to minimize foundation problems.
How to Water Your Concrete Slab Foundation
To water your concrete slab foundation there are a number of methods you can use.
Soaker hoses are often used to provide water around a foundation. Place the soaker hose 12-18 inches away from the house and turn it on to prevent the soil from drying.
Three items to avoid with a soaker hose.
1) Never place a soaker hose in contact with the foundation. Water will run down the side of the concrete beam and pool, turning our firm clay soil into mud. When that happens, the soil loses its ability to support the foundation.
2) Never over water. If the water is pooling or the ground is mushy, turn the water off.
3) Don’t connect several soaker hoses. Doing so causes uneven watering. The further from the faucet, the lower the water pressure.
What can I do to assure that my foundation is properly watered?
To start with, you aren’t watering the foundation. You are watering the soil which supports the foundation.
6 watering tips to help avoid foundation problems in cities such as Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, Garland, Arlington, Grand Prairie, Frisco, Denton and the surrounding metroplex:
- Keep soil uniformly moist – never squishy.
- Assure that the land slopes away from the house for proper drainage.
- Fill any low places that might collect water near the house.
- Route the air conditioner drip line away from the house.
- Install gutters to route rainwater away from the house.
- Adjust sprinkler areas based upon water need.
- Is your neighbor over-watering.. tell him to stop!
How do I Avoid Over-Water My Foundation?
Over-watering foundation and soil can lead to serious foundation repairs.
The goal is to maintain uniformly moist soil to maintain a properly supported foundation.
Each side of your house may require a different amount of water. The southwest side of a Dallas Fort Worth house in the summer may require 50% more water than the northeast side.
Trees and bushes absorb water, but also shade the soil from drying hot summer sun.
In areas where there is less than 20 feet between houses, you also have to take into account how much your neighbor waters. If you neighbor won’t turn down the sprinkler system and is creating a marsh around your house, a french drain or surface drainage system may be needed.
To avoid foundation problems from over or under watering, always keep the soil moist, and never allow it to dry or become muddy. This requires year around maintenance to avoid foundation problems.