Living in an area of the United States that is exposed to extreme weather can wreak havoc on the soil around your family’s home. Intensely dry, arid conditions can pull soil away from the foundation resulting in the need for foundation repair, for example, while overly wet, frozen temperatures can cause soil to contract and heave the foundation of your home right out of the earth.
You can fend off foundation repair by maintaining its health in the first place. When you are aware of the things that can go wrong with your home’s foundation and can spot trouble at the earliest warning signs, then you are in a better position to avoid spending a lot of time and money on future repairs after major damage has been done.
Fixing Minor Cracks – Hairline cracks in concrete block foundations can be a sign of a bigger problem, but in many cases they are harmless. You can clean out minor cracks then fill them with epoxy glue or a similar material designed to repair such blemishes in the foundation of your family’s home.
Keeping Steady Moisture Levels – Maintaining a consistent moisture level around your home will go a long way toward avoiding repair problems. Install rock beds between 18” and 24” away from the foundation. These beds let water from sources such as rain and sprinklers to seep into the earth around the foundation and maintain steady moisture levels.
Maintain Roof Drainage – Too much or improper drainage around a foundation from roof runoff can cause excess moisture to heave the foundation. Make sure your downspouts discharge water far enough away from your home. Sandy soils should have water discharged at least five feet away, while it should be ten feet for expansive soils.
Eliminating Excess Water in Low Elevations – If your house is in a low elevation, then have a ground drain installed. Drains should direct water into an area lower than the foundation of your family’s home, or alternately into a catch basin filled with gravel. Proper grading and erosion control can also help resolve this problem.
Install a Moisture Barrier – Moisture barriers are a real help for foundations where grading cannot correct the problem. Measuring about five feet below ground, a moisture barrier can prevent or minimize moisture migration from happening beneath your home’s foundation.
As you can see, there are many things you can do to protect the foundation of your family’s home. Once these measures are in place, while they do not guarantee that you will never have foundation problems, they can hold off the need for major structural repair. Also familiarize yourself with the warning signs of foundation problems, and call a foundation repair company for a consultation at the first sign of trouble.