If you just moved into your home you should start these ASAP, because like interest foundation issues compound. Here are 5 simple foundation maintenance practices you should make a part of your life.
1. Water Your Foundation Regularly
There are a few ways to water your foundation. You can water your foundation by hand, with a drip line, or with a soaker hose. Both the drip line and soaker hose connect directly to your outdoor water spigot.
Personally, we recommend using a drip line in combination with a self-timer, this way you can set it and forget it. The whole setup should cost you about $75, but the savings could be in the thousands.
Your second option is a soaker hose. This simple contraption is designed to let water out at set intervals along its length. Place it between 8″-18″ from your foundation and let it run for 45 minutes 3-4 days a week. Of course, if it rains skip a couple of days, you don’t want to overwater.
Your final option is watering the foundation by hand. If you can’t afford the other options we heavily recommend watering by hand as it is better than nothing. Avoid spraying the water directly along the foundation grade line. Instead, shower approximately 12″ from the foundation, the moisture will spread. This way you can prevent water from wicking under the foundation and removing or expanding soil. Again, complete 3-4 times a week when dry.
2. Get Your Foundation Checked Often
You don’t want one of your biggest investments decreasing in value simply because you weren’t prudent. There are many reasons to schedule a foundation inspection. When the time arises, schedule one, this will help you catch any problems early.
Below are a few scenarios to call a foundation company:
- Recent plumbing issues or leaks
- Buying a new home
- Starting a home remodel
- Constructing a home addition
3. Install Proper Drainage Systems
Depending on your home a drainage solution could be simply grading, or it could involve a series of drain line installations and gutters.
Pay attention to your home when it rains. Does water flow towards or away from your foundation? After heavy rains do water pool against the foundation? Does the water remain for over an hour?
Another thing to pay attention to is your gutter downspouts. You must ensure that your downspouts are not draining water directly into the foundation. You want to ensure that your gutter downspouts extend at least 3′ away from your home, ideally 6′. Home improvement stores like Lowes and Home Depot both have inexpensive downspout extensions. If you can’t do this, at the very least ensure that the downspout drains onto a concrete splash block.
Check this out! One of the most simple ways to protect your foundation is to add soil along along the perimeter. Most slab foundations should have 6″ of compacted soil graded away from the foundation, this extra layer goes a long way, though it will take a constant eye and compacting to get 6″
If you notice moisture in your pier and beam foundation crawl space, you more than likely have a drainage issue. Place a rotating fan in the crawl space so that it may dry, ensure all vents are open and unblocked, and finally identify the source of water intrusion.