Prevent costly foundation repairs with these simple strategies
The kitchen might be the heart of your home, but the foundation holds everything together. Damage occurs when waterlogged soil pushes against the foundation or moisture seeps into your basement. The majority of cracks develop when the water freezes and expands. This type of damage affects basement walls, foundation corners and areas with excessive moisture. It’s not just the water that comes off of your roof that contributes to these conditions; your neighbors’ homes could be directing water toward your home as well, and it can cause permanent damage. Cracks can also be related to soil compaction, poor grading, high water tables and other conditions that are unique to your home. Knowing the warning signs and improving drainage are the best ways to prevent foundation damage. Here’s what you can do.
1. Install an Extended Drain Pipe
This is the easiest way to solve drainage problems. Diverters, splash blocks and inflatable drain pipes effectively direct water away from your foundation. Most gutters have a small elbow at the bottom, but that isn’t enough to prevent water damage. For best results, purchase a drain extender that’s at least 3 feet long. Some even fold up for mowing.
2. Prevent Soil Compaction
Clay soil, compaction and high water tables are the main causes of moisture problems. If you notice standing water the day after a rainstorm, you probably have a problem. Compact soil holds less oxygen, which means that plants won’t grow well. Mossy lawns are another sign that your soil is too compact. Consider using lawn aerators, soil conditioners or a layer of mulch to alleviate compaction.
3. Grading and Berms
Older homes and properties with unusual grading are more likely to experience water damage. Proper grading encourages water to migrate away from the foundation. Landscape plantings and flower beds also hold moisture. Building a small mound or berm that’s two to six inches tall is enough to move water in the right direction.
4. Collect Rain Water
Gathering rainwater in a sealed barrel, pond or other water collection system is one way to address high-moisture areas. Daisy-chain systems can increase water capacity. However, it’s probably not feasible to collect water from the entire roof.
5. Install French Drains
Installing French drains is a complex process, but it’s worth it if they prevent costly foundation damage. These subterranean drains connect to gutters and divert water away from your home. Collected water can also be used to enhance your current irrigation system.
If you’ve experienced foundation damage or moisture problems, call Ram Jack of Carmel, IN to request a free estimate. Our industry-leading team is trained to repair cracks, sustain structural weaknesses and correct basement damage.