Warmer days are arriving here in North Texas and with warmer weather comes spring cleaning, more lawn maintenance, and of course, foundation care! Due to the expansion and constriction of the soil in Texas, from our extreme weather, we are more prone to foundation issues as soil can be swept out from under the home, thus removing vital support. If foundations are not maintained, the shifting of soil and the foundation itself can cause plumbing breaks, loss of structural integrity of the home, repairs to drywall/flooring, and other high cost repairs.
Although you cannot always completely avoid foundation repairs throughout the lifetime of a Texas home, you can take steps to preserve the life span of your foundation and minimize necessary repairs. Here are four easy steps to start maintaining your foundation.
1. Maintain Consistent Moisture Levels
During the drier months, it will be important to maintain moisture around your foundation to keep the soil from constricting and moving out from under the foundation. The best practice for maintaining soil moisture is to place soaker hoses around the home, roughly 18-24 inches from the foundation. These soaker hoses should be allowed to run at least 2 times a week for about 15 minutes. It is important to be aware of your local city ordinance for watering your lawn during peak summer weeks.
2. Ensure Proper Grading
Grading in the direction that your soil is directing water and the angle of the slope. Grading should always lead water away from your foundation towards the street/yard. Keep in mind, you do not want soil to be built up too high around your foundation as it can create an environment that invites termites into your home. The slope should be about 5% within 10-12 feet of your home.
3. Install Gutters
Installing gutters is a great way to keep water from building up at the base of your foundation and causing soil erosion. The gutters will allow you to direct water away from your foundation and have more control over the soil moisture levels. Rain gutters are usually required to maintain the warranty of any previously completed foundation work as well.
4. Look for Pooling or Puddled Water
After a rainstorm look for water puddling near your foundation. If there are puddles you need to find a way to direct the water away from the house. Solutions vary. You may need to install a french drain, cut a swale, or improve the grade around your foundation.
These simple, continuous steps can save Homeowners thousands of dollars in repairs to their homes. Allegiance Property Management educates tenants on how to maintain the homes foundation. Through education, we hope to help preserve our client’s investments and cultivate relationships with our tenants.
*Please note that Allegiance Property Management cannot guarantee tenant care of a home’s foundation but they will hold tenants accountable for provable neglect