Preventing Foundation Problems
Are you noticing tiny cracks forming around your windows and doors? This could be your home’s foundation settling. Very common in the Dallas area due to the high clay content of the soil and our dry summers, these cracks can be slowed and even prevented with a little year-round attention. The best thing to do for your foundation is to keep the soil at a constant moisture level. You can do this a few ways: water the foundation, and keep plants and mulch around your foundation.
Watering your foundation can be easily accomplished with a soaker hose. Lay enough hose to go around your foundation placed 12 to 18 inches from the slab. Although it’s best to bury the hose about 2 inches, you can leave the hose on the ground and cover with a layer of dirt or mulch.
You can significantly reduce the rate of differential settlement by observing the following recommendations
Cap or Cut Roots
Grade Soil Properly
Control Water Runoff
Water Trees and Shrubs Regularly
It’s important to keep a constant moisture level year-round. Do not over water or under water. In the rainy months of spring and early summer, you can limit your watering, but be sure to resume watering once the rain is over. Set your faucet in a constant drip for the soaker hose. Or, install a timer to water twice a day for 15 to 20 minutes, more often in the dry months, less often in the wet months.
Plants and foliage around your foundation help keep the soil at a constant moisture level. A layer of mulch around plants will help keep the plants moist, as well as the foundation. If these plants look healthy, your foundation is most likely in good shape.
TIP: If you want to add a walkway around your home, try natural stones or pave-stones spaced apart with grass or ground cover in between. Placing cement next to your foundation can cause drying in the soil and cracks in the cement.
If you have numerous or large cracks on the interior or exterior of your home, you may have a serious foundation settlement problem and need professional foundation repair.