Avoiding foundation problems will only cause damage to worsen. Faulty foundations cause a great extent of damage to the house. Some of these problems may not be easy to identify until it’s a little too late. To avoid getting to this point, learn to do a few DIY foundation repairs around the house.
To understand how foundation problems arise, it’s important to first establish the causes. Some of the main causes of foundation problems include:
- Poor preconstruction
- Poor soil preparation
- Drainage issues
- Plumbing leaks
- Soil shrinkage
- Growing tree roots
How to prevent home foundation problems
The first step to preventing foundation problems is understanding the reasons behind the problems. Here are some applicable ways of preventing foundation problems:
- Water the foundation
While the house is still under construction, the foundation should be watered at least twice a day. Set the sprinklers to go off in the mornings and evenings. If the construction is going on during the dry season, try to water the foundation at least thrice a day. Doing this goes a long way in preventing foundation issues.
Ensure that water doesn’t collect around the house. Install a proper drainage system to enable the water to flow freely away from the house. Otherwise, it’ll form pools of water which will seep downwards to the foundation and cause problems. One kind of drainage that homeowners find helpful is the French drainage that is used to direct water from the house. Gutters would also help direct rainwater away from the house. Ensure that the gutters are cleaned regularly to prevent them from getting blocked as this would beat their whole purpose.
When the soil around the house gets wet, it expands and this puts pressure on the foundation. If the house is built on a pier or beam, the foundation can become damp and this causes the wooden beams to weaken.
- Practice proper grading
Grading prevents water from coming into direct contact with the base of the house as well as the foundation walls. To be on the safe side, grade the terrain about 6 inches in 10 feet soil to slope away from the house.
- Embed the foundation
A proper amount of compacted soil around the foundation is useful in helping the soil retain its moisture content. This is important especially during the hot and dry months. Embed the foundation up to 2 inches from the top of the foundation slab.
Mulch helps maintain the moisture content of the soil. It keeps the soil from shrinking which is what happens when its moisture has reduced.
- Plant trees further away from the house
Trees and shrubs take up water from the soil and so it’s left dry with very low moisture content. As a result, the foundation settled unevenly and then cracked.
Additionally, as the trees grow their roots could get underneath the house and harm the foundation.
The moment homeowners realize that their foundation has problems they should schedule a consultation with a professional. He will guide them on the way forward towards fixing the problems and avoiding them in the future. Preventing foundation damage saves time, money, and resources and also keeps the house in good condition for long.