Approximately 1 in every 10 households in the United States is affected by some type of natural disaster annually. Whether it’s from flooding, hurricanes, hail storms, drought, or erosion, a house’s foundation integrity is one of the structures that gets compromised first.
This results in issues such as deterioration of load-bearing walls, soil surging, water damage, and poor exterior drainage. Common indicators of a damaged foundation include cracks, slanting or slagging floors, a fallen chimney, and bowing basement walls, just to name a few.
Fortunately, routine check-ups can help keep the foundation stronger longer as you’re likely to spot issues early before they become worse.
Here are four foundation maintenance tips to keep your home structurally safe.
1. Perform Regular Foundation Inspection
Walk around your foundation every couple of months (especially during the summer months) to look for any signs of damage. Common issues to look out for include:
Look for cracks on the stairsteps, vertical cracks that are wide at the bottom, and hairline cracks measuring at least 1/8’’ in width. Also, if you notice white spots and cracked bricks, this could be a sign of water infiltration that may necessitate urgent repair.
Trailing insects such as termites and ants can accelerate foundation deterioration. You can use an epoxy sealer to seal any small holes or hairline cracks you find on the foundation. If you have a pier and beam foundation, look for signs of moisture, mold, and wood rot in the crawlspace.
These signs mainly indicate a foundation shift. If you notice huge cracks, hire our reputable foundation repair company to evaluate the damage and suggest repairs. When drywall cracks are left unattended, they may lead to serious structural damage to your home.
2. Be Mindful of How You Water
Water infiltration is generally bad for your foundation, particularly in dry seasons. When there’s too little moisture in the soil, it shrinks causing movements in the foundation. Overwatering around your foundation may lead to excess water exerting continuous upward pressure against your foundation.
Ensure you water your lawn evenly during dry spells for adequate moisture balance on all sides of your foundation. If you use sprinklers, ensure it spreads evenly and doesn’t form pools of water.
When it’s hot and dry, running the water for about 1 hour is enough to protect your foundation from moving and cracking.
3. Protect Against Trees
Did you know that trees absorb between 10-150 gallons of water daily?
Aggressive root systems are known to soak up moisture, causing shrinkage and a shift in the foundation. What’s more, the roots can penetrate through the foundation, damaging and compromising your safety.
If you already have a large tree in your yard and can’t remove it, installing a root barrier can help keep aggressive roots from growing toward your house.
4. Improve the Drainage Around the Foundation
As water runs down your house’s walls, it pools at the foundation, causing soil erosion. The ground beneath your home can be compromised, resulting in the foundation settling. Floor creaks and stuck doors are other signs of a settling substructure.
You can also protect your home by installing an effective drainage system. This includes effective gutters and downspouts which should direct water at least 5-10 feet away from your foundation.
If you already have gutters and downspouts, ensure they are unclogged and cleaned to reduce water pooling around the foundation.
Having Issues with Your Foundation? Let the Pros Handle It
Owning a home can be extremely rewarding but comes with significant responsibility. One of the most vital things a homeowner can do to keep their house in good condition is to maintain its foundation properly.
A strong foundation is the basis of a house – the groundwork on which the entire structure is built and it requires an even solid ground to function properly.
If you need the services of a foundation repair and maintenance specialist, Pinnacle Foundation Repair is the best bet in Texas. We have highly-trained experts to repair your foundation to its pre-damage condition at reasonable prices.
Schedule a free foundation inspection today and let’s get started!