How to Prevent Foundation Damage to Your Home
To avoid foundation damage, take preventative measures. Maintain gutters and downspouts, grade the land, add French drains, and waterproof the basement. Trees near the house should be removed or cut back to allow proper circulation. Trees also soak up excess dampness, which prevents cracking of the foundation. Watering the foundation regularly, foundation professionals say, is another way to prevent foundation damage.
Maintain gutters and downspouts
The foundation of your home is especially vulnerable to damage due to water. Water damage can be expensive to repair, so maintaining gutters and downspouts to prevent foundation damage to your home will help you save money. Gutters direct water safely away from the foundation by directing it to a downspout. Clogged or cracked gutters can cause water to seep into the foundation, causing costly structural damage.
To prevent water damage to your foundation, make sure to clean your gutters regularly. You can use leaf blowers or wet/dry vacuums to remove the larger debris. If you find finer debris, use a power washer or a hose with a pressurized nozzle. Just remember to wear protective gear and follow the manufacturer's guidelines to avoid injury. Many guttering systems let water out at the base of the home rather than diverting it away.
Properly grade land
A properly graded yard can promote drainage and increase the value of your property. This also benefits the entire property. While a graded yard may seem like a big project, you must keep in mind that improperly graded land can lead to water pooling near the foundation of your home. Here are some tips to avoid a foundational issue:
To properly grade land, you should always start by measuring the slope of the property. To do so, tying a long string to a stake at least 50 feet away from the house and another string to another stake. Then, lowering the string until it reaches the ground and attaching a string level to it. Then, walk along the perimeter of the property to check the grade of the land.
Add French drains
There are many benefits to adding French drains to prevent foundation damage to your house. Not only will they help keep water out, but they will also help prevent the growth of dangerous mold and mildew. These types of organisms are bad for your health, so you don't want to invite them into your home. Installing a French drain can prevent this from happening and keep your indoor air fresh.
Installing a French drain is a great idea if you have a lot of water on your property. However, if the water isn't properly managed, it can cause oversaturated soil around your foundation. This water can cause cracks in the foundation walls and can even push water through small cracks. If the water is allowed to sit in the soil for too long, it can lead to a flooded basement or crawl space.
Waterproof the basement
While there is no need to waterproof the entire basement, there are several ways to make it water-tight. A thick sheet of plastic or a perimeter drain system will help move water away from your foundation. In addition, there are specific requirements for finished basement walls and floors. The condition of your basement's foundation can also impact the quality of finished basement walls and floors. Small cracks can be repaired with concrete products, polyurethane foam, or epoxy.
Basement waterproofing is important for several reasons. The first is to increase the structural strength of your home. Since your basement and foundation support the entire weight of your home, water can weaken the walls and foundation. If your basement is not properly waterproofed, water will seep through these areas and cause major foundation problems. Waterproofing your basement will prevent water damage and mold growth. This will also protect your home's interior from deterioration.
Don't plant trees nearby
If you live in the Mid-South, you know how harsh storms can be. We usually experience two severe weather seasons each year. That means your yard is full of twigs, branches, and other debris. Tree roots can also damage your home's foundation, causing it to become unstable and crack. Elm trees should not be planted too close to your foundation, as their roots can collect water and cause leaks and structural damage.
The roots of oak trees will spread out, searching for moisture and nutrients. While the soil underneath your home's foundation is generally dry, tree roots can still find moisture and nutrients, causing it to erode the foundation of your home. The most common oak species that can cause foundation damage are red oaks, chestnut oaks, live oaks, and water-oaks. Poplar trees can also damage your home's foundation.
If you need help with a damaged structure, it is advised to seek the help of a professional foundation repair contractor near you.