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Dos and Don’ts of Foundation Maintenance

Forty-plus days over 100 degrees with little or no rain is causing havoc with foundations across Texas. The predominant soil type in Texas is clay. Clay, an expansive soil, swells or shrinks depending on how much moisture is present. When the weather gets hot and dry, the clay soil shrinks causing foundations to settle. When foundations settle beyond seasonal norms, they need to be raised and supported with piers (concrete or steel pilings).

What can Homeowners do to Prevent Foundation Settlement?

A homeowner’s only line of defense against foundation settlement is to maintain the moisture content around their foundation as consistently as possible. That means a controlled watering program and proper drainage. As conditions around homes vary, it is important for homeowners to pay attention to which areas get more direct sunlight and which areas are more shaded as watering requirements will differ in those areas. It may be necessary to augment a controlled watering program with hand watering and possibly a soaker hose.

What Happens if a Foundation Gets too Much Water?

While a controlled watering program is essential in helping to prevent foundation settlement, it is equally important to make sure there is proper drainage around your foundation. If there are areas around the foundation where water does not drain away immediately, the clay soil in those areas can swell more than the areas where the water drains away properly, heaving can occur. Foundation heaving is the opposite of foundation settlement as the swelling clay soil pushes the foundation upward. To prevent heaving conditions, it may be necessary to install Surface or French drains.

Call the foundation and drainage specialists, Structured Foundation Repairs, for a free, comprehensive analysis of your foundation. They will be able to identify if you need foundations repairs, drainage correction, or if the foundation is performing as intended.