Having proper drainage methods to control water around your home is the best way to prevent foundation repair. Every year, leaky plumbing, poor drainage, and encroaching root systems damage many foundations across Texas. By regularly maintaining your property, you can ensure that your foundations stay stable and avoid repair for longer. Follow these tips to keep your home on solid foundations.
Maintain Your Drainage
Poor drainage can lead to excess moisture build-up in the soil, causing unstable earth and damaged wood or concrete foundations. This can be prevented by ensuring your home has proper drainage methods to control the water surrounding your home during the wetter months of the year. Gutters and surface drainage are an excellent way to maintain drainage, but french drainage systems are specifically built to filter water away from foundations. French drains are formed of trenches containing gravel, rock, or a pipe with perforations that redirects ground or surface water away from your property’s foundations.
When it is warm, avoid the soil contracting by using a drip irrigation system or a soaker hose to maintain soil integrity. Drip irrigation is made up of plastic tubing with tiny holes that allow water to drip into the soil across the pipe’s length, and soaker hoses perform in the same way. The spaced-out holes allow water to be absorbed across the ground rather than pool in one location.
Hire A Plumber
Leaky plumbing can cause water to seep into the soil, leading to excessive moisture, which can expand and cause cracks in concrete foundation slabs. They may also seep into the walls of your crawlspace, leading to flooding or dampness, wood rot or dry rot, and sagging. Prevent this by getting an annual plumbing check from a licensed plumber. Licensed plumbers will conduct hydrostatic and pressure tests on your plumbing to ensure that no leaks exist. As a bonus, you can also avoid damage to your home’s interior and stop the costs of additional water bills after the issue is fixed.
Manage Your Vegetation
If you’re thinking of putting trees in your garden, make sure the trees are the canopy’s width away from your foundations. Research the canopy width of the fully grown tree species if you are planting a sapling. If you are trying to cut back existing trees with extensive root systems, consult an arborist for advice on removing the tree roots before you go ahead and clear them. The whole tree may die if certain roots are removed, and dead tree roots can still cause an issue with the foundations as they will destabilize soil and may have already created cracks in concrete foundations.
When roots grow near foundations, they destabilize the surrounding soil by pulling water away from the earth and back to the tree, causing the ground to contract and become unstable. To avoid the soil becoming arid, make sure that you plant locally native species and have natural landscaping to ensure the water is naturally retained in the ground. Any shrubs or plant life, in addition to trees, have the potential to damage your foundations.
Install A Root Barrier
A root barrier will stop roots from growing into unwanted areas, like your foundations, driveway, or even underneath the sidewalk. Root barriers exist in either metal, hard plastic, or nylon fabric. They are particularly useful for expansive clay soil, as this soil is particularly susceptible to expansion and contraction depending on the weather conditions. Avoid using chemical root barriers to prevent root growth near foundations, as this will kill the roots, leaving them dead in the soil, and may destroy the entire tree. Consult an arborist if you’re uncertain about the best root barrier to use, or if you’re concerned about damaging the tree.
If Your Foundations Are Already Damaged
If you’re using these tips because you suspect your foundations are already damaged, consult a foundation repair expert to ensure the correct repairs are made to your property. Common indications of foundation damage include slanting or uneven floors, cracked or bending walls, and doors that stick when they didn’t previously. Foundation issues must be fixed as soon as possible to prevent long term structural damage to your property.
If you suspect your foundations need repairing, contact Pinnacle Foundation Repair for expert advice on how to fix the problem. We are experts in all types of foundations, from cut and fill to pier and beam and concrete slab structures. If you want to prevent your foundations from damage, give us a call today for expert advice on how to maintain the structural integrity of your property.