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How to Help Prevent Foundation Damage

Foundation movement is very common in most parts of Texas, that movement can present itself in a few different ways. Foundation repairs can be very costly so here are some great ways to mitigate the risk of foundation movement over the years.

Inspect your home for damage, cracks, and insects

It pays to inspect your home for any indications of trouble. If your foundation is cracked, inspect the cracks’ size as well as where they are coming from. You would also want to plug any holes or hairline cracks you see as trailing insects can hasten foundation deterioration.

Maintain a consistent moisture level around your foundation

This is especially important in areas that have expansive clay soils like most parts of Texas. Repeated variations in soil moisture content are often the number one cause of differential soil movements, which can result in misalignment of windows and doors, masonry and drywall cracking and un-level floors.

By keeping the moisture content of the soil under the foundation constant, you can help avoid such problems. An automated sprinkler system can help in this regard. Its waters in a slow, systematic manner.

Make sure your soil slopes away from the foundation

This is a good tip for maintaining your foundation. A flat yard leading up to your house’s foundation can cause just as much trouble as one that slopes toward the house.

The goal of grading is simple: create a slope that will carry water from your house. The slope doesn’t need to be as steep as you might think. Experts recommend the slope to be 2% or ¼ inch per foot. Grading your yard will allow water to flow across the surface to a more desirable area and prevent foundation damage.

Have your plumbing inspected once a year

Under-slab leaks are a major cause of foundation problems. A larger leak can seep into the soil that surrounds your house and can even cause your foundation to shift. These leaks can occur in sprinkler systems, freshwater lines, sewer lines and other parts of your plumbing system. If you suspect that you have a plumbing leak in your home, hire the services of a licensed plumber. To test for any leaks, the plumber will most likely perform a hydrostatic test.

Protect your foundation from large trees

Trees are wonderful, no doubt. However, the often-serious damage sometimes caused by their roots is not so wonderful. It could potentially mean thousands of dollars in repair costs to plumbing systems, pavement, backyards, and foundations. Selecting the wrong type of tree is often the culprit, as is poor planning as regards planting it in a particular spot. To survive, trees require moisture and nutrients. The process through which that is achieved is known as transpiration. One sizeable tree can absorb as much as 150 gallons of water per day from the soil. When such a tree is planted close to your home’s foundation, it could spell trouble. In fact, such trees are well known for affecting slab foundations in Texas, where expansive clay soils can be greatly impacted by water.


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