Foundation Mistakes Made by Homeowners

Knowledge is power, and knowing what mistakes not to make in regards to your home’s foundation will help ensure you are on solid ground for years to come.  A bit of maintenance on your foundation can help protect your home from the need for future foundation repair solutions.  Regardless of the current status of your house foundation, reading this post will give you ideas and solutions to ensure that you as a homeowner are not adding to the potential for foundation repair in the future.  The four tips below should help you gain a better understanding of your homes foundation and how you can be confident you are doing all of the right things to keep it solid.

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1. Putting Off Contacting a Foundation Repair Contractor

Because Houston property owners often have foundation issues, contacting a specialist as soon as you see trouble is the right move to make.  Because foundation damage progresses naturally and fairly consistently, it is a mistake to not pick up the phone and reach out to an expert who is certified to provide a solution.  Most companies that provide foundation repair in Houston will provide free estimates for their service and as a home owner this is an easy solution to take advantage of.  The sooner you get someone into your home to evaluate your specific needs, the sooner you can stop worrying about the stability of your Houston are home.  If you notice that you have foundation cracks, mortar cracking in bricks, a cracked chimney, uneven flooring or doors that are not properly aligned – you should reach out to a foundation company for an inspection.  Once the evaluation is complete, at a minimum you will have a full understanding of what your homes foundation is currently experiencing and a foundation repair cost estimate and plan for repair.

2. Planting Too Close to Your Home

Everyone loves nice landscaping, trees, and foliage.  That being said, planting right next to your homes foundation can be a major mistake and could cost you thousands of dollars in foundation damage years down the road.  Plants and trees need moisture to survive and they pull moisture out of the ground using their root system.  As these roots develop over years and years they get larger and they crawl deeper.  Once they reach the underside of your foundation they will begin to pull the moisture from the soil into their root system.  This will leave your foundation sitting on dry soil that has contracted.  This lack of moisture can make your foundation bow and flex.  Also, some tree roots will grow so large that they actually push on the foundation and cause it to stretch and crack.  Never plant large trees next to your home, and if you must do so put a root barrier along your homes foundation.

3. Not Providing Proper Moisture to Your Foundation

In Texas this is a very common issue that is often overlooked.  At AAA Foundation Service we are always telling homeowners that it is essential to not let the landscaping around the foundation dry out.  To ensure that the moisture levels stay constant around your home you must implement some sort of irrigation system.  This can be anything from a basic soaker hose to a full blown sprinkler system.  You do not want to soak all of your soil on a constant basis, however, you do want to ensure that you do not let the soil get so dry that it begins to pull away from the base of your foundation.  Once this occurs, the Texas heat will continue to pull the moisture out of the soil around the foundation at lower levels.  This will again allow the soil to contract and potentially cause the foundation to shift.  If this is not resolved the constant expansion and contraction will lead to problems in the future.

4. Having an Improper Water Drainage System

In contrast to not letting your foundation become too dry, you must also ensure that you do not let the area around your home become too moist as well.  Having too much water gather around your foundation can be just as bad if not worse than not having enough and cause foundation issues.  Often times this may go unnoticed as most homeowners do not often stroll around their home during a rainstorm.  Often we see properties that have sitting water below the soil and this has caused the foundation to expand and crack due to the excess moisture.  There are a few simple solutions to this issue.  First, utilize gutters to push rain water to exact areas of the home for the runoff and use extensions on the downspouts to move the rainwater as far away from the home as possible.  Second, have a drainage system installed by a professional contractor around your home to ensure the rain water that does runoff heads away from the home and toward the street.  Lastly, keep a proper landscaping grade around the base of your home.  The landscaping around your home should slope away at a rate of one inch for every ten feet.  If you find that you are not properly graded you can have some back-fill dirt brought in and professionals should re-grade your lawn to ensure proper runoff of all excess water.

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