Home Maintenance Series – 4 Ways to Avoid Foundation Problems

Take a couple minutes out of your day to avoid foundation problems. Inspection is the key in care for your home. Have a look at this article by Lisa Kaplan Gordon on HouseLogic.com and write in the comments about your experiences.

Until it cracks or leaks, most of us don’t think about our home’s foundation. That’s our first mistake.

When cracks and leaks show up, you’ve already created or ignored problems that damage foundations, says Stan Gatland, manager of CertainTeed’s building science technology department.

Here are mistakes that can cause foundation woes and, if unresolved, can make matters worse.

1. Grading gaffes

Poor soil excavation can direct water toward the base of your house and through foundation walls. Make sure your yard is graded at least 6 inches in 10 feet so soil slopes away from your house.

You may have to build up a berm, dig a trench, or install a French drain to funnel rainwater and runoff away from your home. Also, be careful when you apply mulch on foundation plants. Make sure that slopes away from your home, too.

2. Downspout downer

Downspouts should direct rain and roof runoff away from your house. But if you don’t extend the downspout 5 to 10 feet away from the house, you’ll dump water on your foundation. You can buy extenders from plain ($15) to fancy ($30). Or bury a long downspout diverter underground and drain the water to the curb, a storm drain, or to a spot in your yard where the water will percolate into the soil.

3. Water woes

Avoid letting the soil around your house completely dry out and shrink during a long dry spell. The next big rain could soak the soil, making it expand dramatically and putting stress on your foundation walls. In drought, run a soaker hose around your house at least 6 inches from the foundation and 3 inches under the soil. That should help quiet soil contraction and expansion.

4. Root riots

Tree and shrub roots can compete with your soil for moisture during drought, causing your foundation to settle and sink unevenly. When that happens, drywall can crack and windows and doors will stick in their frames.

To prevent a war for water, plant deep-rooted trees and shrubs away from the house. If the branches touch the house, the tree is too close.

Need more info? Here’s more information on spotting foundation problems, and options for foundation repair.

About gvenice

I have over 25 years of electrical engineering and business management experience. I previously owned and managed a multi million dollar engineering firm. My work took me all over the globe, managing the construction of manufacturing plants where I built a reputation of providing superior service, getting projects done on time and within or under budget. My dedication to the fine details and logical approach to accomplishing tasks provide a huge benefit to my Real Estate clients. After selling my business and retiring to this area, I found a new passion in the Real Estate business and I bring to this business the same level of professional skill and conduct that has made mr successful in the past. My global exposure and extensive travel are also an asset when dealing with a customer base that is located worldwide. An avid boater, I have a thourough understanding of the waterways of East Tennessee and the intricacies involved in dealing with the TVA and the Army Corps of Engineers.
This entry was posted in First Time Home Buyer, Home Buyers Series, Home Maintenance Series, Home Outdoors Series, Home Owners, Home Safety Series, Home Sellers Series and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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