Since your foundation is out of sight, many things can happen behind the scenes that can compromise its stability. It may be the strongest part of your house, but it needs some TLC to ensure that it will continue supporting your house far into the future.
Follow these tips to keep your foundation secure:
- Proper drainage. Make sure that water does not collect near your foundation. Create a slope away from the foundation so water can run away from the home. Make sure that gutters, downspouts, and scuppers can drain away. Keep gutters and French drains cleared of debris so they can do their job.
- Proper landscaping. Trees, shrubs, and plants should be planted away from the house. One tree can absorb up to 150 gallons of water every day from the soil. If it doesn’t get enough water, it will take it from the soil that supports your foundation. That soil dries out and shrinks, causing significant damage to the foundation. Small trees should be no closer than 8-10 feet from the home and larger trees should be farther away.
- Proper watering. If you do have trees or other vegetation near the foundation that must be watered, the soil in that area will swell and push against the foundation. If you water one area, you’ll need to water evenly all the way around the home to prevent this imbalance in pressure created by wet soil. It is better to remove the vegetation so that the area doesn’t need to be watered at all.
- Proper curb appeal. We all want an attractive home, but it is important not to cover up the foundation. This exposed area relies on air circulation and natural soil moisture to ensure foundation stability. If you want to plant anything to camouflage your foundation, use drought-resistant plants that require very little or no water.
Repairing a damaged foundation is very expensive. Taking these simple steps can save tens of thousands of dollars in the future.