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Foundation Maintenance Procedures for Concrete Slab Foundations
If you want to avoid costly foundation repair you need to ensure you properly maintain your home’s concrete slab foundation. Houston is filled with clay soil and can cause a large amount of problems for slab foundations throughout the area. These kinds of issues typically are caused from differences in the amount of soil moisture. When clay begins to dry out it shrinks and this can cause a foundation to settle deeper into the soil. In contrast, clay soil that is holding too much moisture it tends to increase in size and can uplift or heave your Houston area foundation. One of the easiest and least expensive tasks that you can complete as a homeowner is ensuring that you maintain a proper moisture level around your home.
Foundation Moisture Maintenance
The area directly surrounding your slab foundation is the most critical when it comes to maintaining proper soil moisture levels. 18 inches away from the home and 3 feet in depth in this area is the most critical as well. In order to properly maintain your slab foundation you need to take specific steps. First, you need proper drainage surrounding the home. This needs to be done around the perimeter and usually takes the form or a french drain. A french drain will move the water away from the home during periods of extremely wet weather. You may need to adjust the grade of your landscape as well. The grade surrounding your home should slope downwards one inch every four to five feet. This allows water to flow away from the home and stops water from pooling near your home. Also, you do need to have gutters on your home to allow the water to stop from pooling around the foundation. Proper gutters are a must for any Houston area home. Lastly, for times when there is a lack of moisture around your home and the dirt is pulling away from the house itself, you need a solution to provide moisture to your home. Soaking hoses are a great solutions for this as well as your typical sprinkler system.
Additional Slab Foundation Maintenance Tips
The concept of deflection comes up regularly with respect to foundation inspections. Deflection refers to the extent of bending observable in a structural element. For instance, the shape of a structural beam that has been loaded with an excessive amount of weight will become distorted. The pressure will cause it to take on a curved shape.
Engineers express deflection in terms of the degree of deviation from a straight line. Deflection is often measured through what is known as a floor elevation survey. This type of survey measures any changes in the height of your floor. While useful, this information can be difficult to evaluate properly without further breaking down the concept of deflection.
Two principal types of deflection exist: overall deflection and local deflection. When evaluating a foundation, overall deflection tends to be much more useful. It gives the best picture of the dimensional aspect of the entire foundation. Changes on this level almost always stem from problems with the foundation. For instance, one side of the foundation may be gradually sinking due to insufficient anchoring.
As you can probably guess, local deflection involves measured amounts of deflection that occur within an area smaller than that of the entire foundation. Local deflection can easily trick less experienced inspectors into believing a foundation problem exists. In fact, the issue often involves only the building materials of the floor – and not the foundation that lies beneath.
Call AAA Foundation Service in Houston
These are just a few solid tips that you can take-away when you think about how to properly maintain your foundation. By implementing a few strategies you can save yourself thousands of dollars on foundation repair. While we are in business to make money, we are more in the business of keeping Houston on solid ground. If you do find you need foundation repair or you might have foundation issues, give us a call today at 713-467-8981 and let a certified professional walk your home and provide you with a free estimate and understanding of what you may be facing.
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