The practice of watering a home’s foundation may seem odd to some, but under certain circumstances, it can actually be a critical part of maintaining the integrity of your home’s foundation. It’s an especially important consideration in regions like North Texas with expansive clay soil, where fluctuations in soil moisture can lead to foundation issues. However, like any maintenance chore around your home, it has its pros and cons. To help you understand the importance of watering your home’s foundation, as well as the best ways to do it, read on as the experts at Structured Foundation Repairs offer sound advice.
Why Consider Watering Your Foundation?
The need to water your foundation is closely tied to the type of soil upon which your home is built. Expansive clay soil, common throughout the DFW Area, presents a unique challenge. This soil expands when it absorbs water and contracts when it dries out. During dry periods, the soil may pull away from the foundation, creating gaps. This can put uneven pressure on the foundation, leading to cracks or other serious problems.
Pros and Cons of Watering Your Foundation
- Soil Consistency: Watering the soil around your foundation helps to maintain a consistent level of moisture. This minimizes the extent to which the soil expands and contracts, thereby reducing the stress on your foundation.
- Preventive Maintenance – Acting proactively can save you a lot of headaches in the future. Watering your foundation can be a relatively inexpensive way to prevent costly repairs down the line.
- Landscaping Benefits – If you’re already investing time and effort into maintaining a beautiful lawn and garden, consistent soil moisture will be beneficial to your overall landscaping plan. Some flowerbeds also help maintain moisture levels around your home.
- Overwatering Risks – More water is not always better. Overwatering can result in soil erosion, which could result in allowing too much water under the grade beam of your foundation.
- Inneffectiveness – In some types of soil or certain weather conditions, watering your foundation may not provide the benefit you’re after, making the practice unnecessary or even counterproductive.
What’s the Best Way to Water My Foundation?
Watering your foundation is not as simple as turning on a hose and letting it run. There are certain methods to take into consideration.
- Soaker Hoses – These are often the go-to tool for foundation watering. Laid around the perimeter of your home, they can provide a slow, even soak to the soil.
- Timing – Early morning or late evening is the best time to water, as these are the times when there’s less sun and wind to cause evaporation.
- Regular Monitoring– It’s important to keep an eye on soil moisture levels. Too little water and you’re not solving the problem, too much and you’re creating a new one.
So How Much Water Does My Foundation Need?
The amount of water needed for your home’s foundation can vary depending on a number of factors:
- Local Climate and Seasonal Changes – The effectiveness of foundation watering can be considerably influenced by local climate conditions. If you reside in an area with consistent rainfall, you may not need to water your foundation at all. On the other hand, if your area experiences long dry spells, it becomes an important maintenance task.
- Health and Location of Existing Landscaping – If you have large trees near your home, they can soak up a considerable amount of water. If they’re close to your foundation, they could impact soil contraction during dry spells, requiring you to increase the volume of watering.
- Water Quality – The quality of your water may also impact your decisions about the volume of water needed. Salty or contaminated water can harm the soil and landscaping, so make sure the water you use is clean, treated water or harvested rainwater.
- Cost of Watering – It’s important to weight the financial aspects. While foundation watering can be a low-cost preventive measure, it could also inflate your water bills. Make sure to decide whether the long-term benefits outweigh the costs.
- Consult Neighbors – If you’re new to your area, your neighbors may be able to offer insights about the local soil and weather conditions, information you might use to help you decide how to proceed.
- Local Water Use Regulations –Most North Texas Municipalities roll out restrictions or guidelines on water usage, especially during drought conditions. Make sure that you’re aware of any local laws or community rules about watering foundations to avoid any penalties or legal complications.
There’s no simple answer as to how much water your foundation needs. It’s dependent on a number of factors and your specific circumstances. While you can consider the pros and cons to try to make the best decision, it’s best to seek professional advice.
Who to Call?
If you’re having dry soil issues, or for any other problem with your home’s foundation, you can’t do better than to reach out to the foundation repairs professionals here at Structured Foundation Repairs based in Dallas-Fort Worth. We specialize in slab and pier and beam foundation repairs for residential and commercial properties. We also offer drainage correction and polyfill levelling for smaller slabs, like sidewalks, driveways, pool decks, and parking lots.
Our services begin with a free, comprehensive evaluation, including elevation surveys, to determine the necessity of repairs. If needed, repairs are expedited efficiently, often completed within a day, in collaboration with local licensed engineers. We are fully insured, and most services come with a lifetime transferable warranty on piers.