When it comes to foundation repair, it’s essential for homeowners to not only address the immediate issues but also implement long-term solutions to prevent future problems. In this article, we will discuss various strategies to maintain your foundation after repairs have been made, covering aspects such as soil moisture management, drainage improvements, and vegetation control.
Soil Moisture Management: Keeping the Ground Around Your Foundation Stable
One of the primary causes of foundation problems is fluctuations in soil moisture. To ensure the longevity of your foundation repair, it’s crucial to maintain consistent soil moisture levels around your home.
Effective Watering Techniques
Proper watering is vital to maintain a consistent soil moisture content around and beneath your foundation. Using a soaker hose 24-36 inches away from your house is often the best solution. Start your watering program before summer months to prevent soil cracks that often appear in July, August, and September.
Preventing Soil Swelling
Soil swelling can typically be mitigated by eliminating excess moisture. Plumbing leaks are common culprits for soil swelling, so promptly repair any water leaks to prevent foundation damage. Regular lawn watering during dry periods also helps prevent edge settlement caused by soil shrinkage.
Drainage Improvements: Keep Water Away from Your Foundation
Poor drainage near your foundation is another cause of soil heaving. To protect your foundation, implement the following drainage improvement measures:
Regrade Your Property
Ensure rainwater drains away from your foundation by regrading your lot if necessary. This helps prevent water from pooling near your home during rains.
Downspouts for gutters should carry water well away from the foundation. Ensure water discharges at least 3-4 feet away from your house.
Inspect the ground within a five-foot radius of your foundation after rainstorms. If you find water ponding against your foundation, correct the situation by regrading the area.
Vegetation Control: Plant Wisely to Protect Your Foundation
Certain trees and plants can negatively impact your foundation due to their extensive, shallow root systems that remove water from the soil.
Tree Selection and Planting Distance
Choose trees with less aggressive root systems, and follow the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s recommendation to plant trees no closer than their ultimate height.
Avoid Shallow-Rooted Plants
Steer clear of plants with large, shallow root systems that can grow under your foundation and cause upheaval as their roots expand.
Monitoring Your Home’s Foundation: Stay Alert for Signs of Trouble
Keeping a watchful eye on your foundation can help you identify potential issues before they escalate. Monitor your home’s foundation periodically to spot early signs of distress.
Inspect for Cracks and Damage
Regularly inspect your foundation for cracks and other signs of damage. Small cracks can be normal, but larger cracks or a pattern of cracks may indicate a more serious issue that requires professional attention.
Monitor Doors and Windows
Pay attention to the operation of doors and windows in your home. If they become difficult to open or close, it could be a sign of foundation shifting or settlement.
Observe Changes in Floors and Walls
Monitor your floors and walls for changes such as unevenness, bowing, or leaning. These symptoms can signal potential foundation problems that need to be addressed.
Regular Maintenance: Preserve Your Foundation’s Health
Routine maintenance can help prolong the life of your foundation and prevent issues from arising in the first place.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Ensure your gutters and downspouts are free of debris to facilitate proper drainage. Blocked gutters can cause water to overflow and accumulate near your foundation, exacerbating soil issues and increasing the risk of foundation damage.
Maintain the Exterior of Your Home
Regularly inspect the exterior of your home for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or water damage. Promptly repair any issues to prevent further deterioration and protect your foundation.
Seal Cracks and Gaps
Seal any cracks or gaps in your foundation to prevent water infiltration and avoid potential damage. Use appropriate sealants or consult with a professional for guidance.
Work with Professionals: Obtain Expert Assessments and Advice
Collaborating with foundation repair specialists and other professionals can help you maintain the health of your foundation.
Schedule Regular Inspections
Arrange for professional inspections of your foundation at least once every few years, or more frequently if you live in an area with soil instability or a history of foundation problems.
Consult with Experts
If you encounter any signs of foundation distress, consult with a foundation repair expert for a thorough assessment and personalized recommendations based on your specific situation.
Choose Qualified Contractors
When hiring contractors for foundation repair or maintenance, select experienced and reputable professionals who can provide high-quality work and expert advice.
By following these post foundation repair tips, you can minimize the chance of reoccurrence or new foundation problems developing. Consult with your foundation repair contractor to discuss these strategies and any additional recommendations specific to your property.
By implementing these strategies and working with an experienced foundation repair contractor, you can ensure the long-lasting success of your foundation repair and protect your home for years to come.