The Basics of Proper Foundation Drainage
Leading Causes of Structural Damage Nationwide
What do you think the biggest natural hazard to your home is? Fires? Earthquakes? Actually, expansive soil damage is one of the leading causes of structural damage nationwide, and improper drainage can wreak havoc on the long-term integrity of your foundation. Engineers have developed a variety of ways to combat changing moisture levels and ensure proper drainage away from the home, but they’re only effective if they are properly implemented and maintained. Learn more about how foundation drainage systems protect your home below:
Backfill Material and Grading
When a home is first built, heavy machinery is used to level the landscape and provide a plumb (flat) surface for the foundation. Contractors will often reuse excavated dirt as backfill material since it’s economical and convenient, but it could pose potential problems if it is a particularly expansive material such as clay. Other materials such as crushed stone or gravel provide superior long-term drainage.
Waterproofing and Natural Drainage
Waterproofing is generally only necessary for basements, which are more susceptible to water damage due to plumbing leaks, irrigation, floods, or hydrostatic pressure. A concrete ledge, or “apron”, can extend several feet outwards from the base of the foundation to maintain soil moisture levels near the base of a slab or pier-and-beam foundation. Additionally, you can landscape your property so that the surrounding grade slants away from the home, facilitating better natural drainage.
Exterior Drainage Systems
Rain gutters and downspouts are fairly simple foundation drainage systems, but they perform the extremely important function of keeping water away from the walls during a storm. A steady stream can quickly burrow deep into the soil and saturate the ground for several feet, which is why it is important to periodically clean these systems. Surface and French drain systems can collect excess water on the ground level, but these also require regular cleaning.
Structured Foundation Repairs, Inc. is a BBB-accredited foundation repair services provider based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Visit us online to see our satisfied customer reviews and call 972-484-1200 today to receive a free foundation evaluation.