Your home’s safety and beauty rely on a strong foundation. If the foundation of your home shifts or is unstable, your entire house is in danger of being permanently unlivable. With even minor foundation problems, the time and money needed to repair it can be costly. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize damage to your home’s foundation in the future.
1. Maintain Consistent Moisture
This sounds counter-intuitive at first, but if the soil around your house dries out during hot spells, then swells and becomes saturated during rainy seasons, the ground shrinking and expanding can put stress on your home’s foundation, causing it to settle unevenly. Using a soaker hose or sprinkler during dry spells to maintain soil moisture will minimize the expansion and contraction of the soil. Using mulch around the foundation can also help stabilize moisture levels and prevent excessive drying.
2. Don’t Let Water Collect Around the Foundation
If rainwater collects around the foundation, it can seep into the stone or brick and cause bowing of the walls, leaks into the home, and cracking of walls and floors. Make sure all downspouts point away from the foundation and have French drains installed to prevent water from collecting in puddles around the foundation.
Grading the land around your home is another way to prevent water from pooling. A six-inch slope per ten feet provides a gentle slope away from the foundation to allow water to run away from the house rather than toward it.
3. Avoid Planting Shrubs Close to the House
Larger shrubs or trees planted too close to your home can cause a variety of foundation problems. They soak up a lot of water, leading to the expansion and contraction of the soil. Roots can also intrude under or through walls, damaging foundation walls, and floors as the plants grow larger.
4. Use Raised Flower Beds
A flower bed around your home looks lovely but can lead to damage to the foundation if planted too low. Raised flower beds that are three to four inches higher than the foundation will minimize damage. Don’t forget to have the flower beds slope slightly, so excess water runs away from the house rather than toward it.
5. Keep Your Home Temperature Consistent
The more the temperature in your house fluctuates, the greater the chances that concrete, brick, wood, plaster, or drywall will expand and contract. Temperature fluctuations can cause severe cracks and foundation damage over time.
Inspect your home’s foundation regularly. If you see signs of cracking, settling, or shifting of the foundation, contact a foundation repair expert like Brickworks Property Restoration. They can do a full inspection of your home’s foundation to determine what kinds of repairs are needed to stabilize the foundation and help prevent future damage.