Since the foundation of your home is out of sight it is easy to forget that it exists. The foundation plays an important role in ensuring the strength, stability, and safety of your house. If the foundation weakens, your home could be under the threat of collapsing and endangering life and limb. Problems in the foundation of homes can result from several things like water seepage, fluctuating temperatures, and extreme weather, in addition to which there are many man-made issues. If not addressed in time, these things can lead to severe foundation damage requiring expensive and time-consuming repairs. Some of the things you can do to prevent damage to the foundation of your house:
Consistently Water the Foundation
If the soil around the foundation is too dry, it will contract. If the contraction is too much, it will make the foundation unstable, and cracks will develop that may cause the structure to crumble. To prevent this, you should install a sprinkler with a timer that switches it on automatically once or twice every day for half an hour or so to keep the soil from drying up. It is important not to overwater, so you will need to deactivate it in case it rains to prevent the soil from becoming soggy.
Ensure Proper Drainage
Just as a dry foundation is liable to crack, you should take care to prevent the soil from becoming too wet as the resultant expansion can result in foundation spalling. You should take care to install a good drainage system to drain away the water accumulating near the foundation to protect your foundation from damage. Make sure that the discharged water does not flow back and pool again.
It is important to install downspouts on your roof so that you can direct the rainwater on the roof to the ground so that the roof does not suffer from leaks and dampness. You must also carry out regular checks to ensure that no debris is blocking them. It is a good idea to install downspout extenders to direct the rainwater away from the foundation, says a HuffPost report. The best technique, however, is to redirect the water to a storm drain so that the water does not pool near the foundation.
Saturate the Soil during Extended Dry Periods
If you live in an arid place or where the summers are dry and long, a sprinkler system may not be adequate to keep the soil moisturized. To prevent the soil from contracting and causing the foundation to crack, you may need to install a watering system like French drains to help the sprinkler water reach deep below the surface. Alternatively, you can use a soaker hose regularly to keep the ground moist and stable.
By no means are the above methods of protecting your foundation from damage exhaustive. You can help by grading your lawn away from the house so that the foundation remains relatively dry. Similarly, all concrete features like walkways and driveways should lead rainwater away from the house. Trimming bushes and trees to prevent the roots from damaging the foundation is also a good technique.