1. Inconsistent Moisture Control
When using a moisture control system to water around the perimeter of your property, remember to account for anything that could lead to inconsistent moisture levels. Too much or too little moisture can cause the soil around the perimeter of your property to swell or shrink, respectively. When inconsistencies arise, you are more likely to see settlement in that particular area. Take into account concrete surfaces, landscaping, trees, run offs, down spouts and even your neighbors own watering habits.
2. Lack Of Rain Run Off Management
It is essential to allow rain to be directed away from your foundation. Inconsistent pooling near the slab can cause settlement issues in those areas. Use downspout extensions and underground tubing to move that water away from your house.
3. Improper Drainage Slope
It might not be enough to just have a drainage system installed. To ensure that all waste is able to pass through the drainage and no blockage can occur, it would be wise to have the drainage system slope away from your foundation at three inches every 5 feet.
4. Directional Sprinkler Systems
When using a conventional sprinkler system, make sure you have heads that are also pointing towards the foundation. You don’t want to over water, but you do want to assure your foundation is getting watered regularly. If using a hose-end sprinkler, make sure you are using one that also drops water directly onto the ground rather than shoot it in the air.
5. Watering While Windy
Even wind can have an adverse effect on foundation settlement. While watering a decent breeze can cause a sprinkler system to not hit its mark. If it is noticeably windy outside, change the timer or delay watering until it dies down.
6. Watering Mid Day
The hotter it gets outside, the faster water can evaporate. If you are watering when the sun is out, there isn’t enough time for the water to soak into the ground to help stabilize the foundation. Try watering when it’s the coolest outside, like at night or in the morning.
7. Landscaping Too Close To The House
Plants require much more water than homeowner think. By placing too many or a certain plant in the wrong place can leave the ground in that area undersaturated. Believe it or not, but a simple oak tree can drink up to 100 gallons of water in a day. Make sure large trees are further from the house than their roots can reach.
8. Soaker Hose Location
Placing a soaker hose up against the skirt of the slab can cause water to seep under the slab or cause it to evaporate too soon. Try placing your hose 12-18 inches away from the slab and 3 inches below the surface.
9. Believing Rain Is A Solution
Many People believe that rain is a means to an end and forget to keep up with their maintenance programs. However since it is dry most of the year, rain can actually be a catalyst to bigger problems. What expands must then contract back to it’s normal state. Remember to maintain your moisture levels even after a storm.
10. Ignoring Warning Signs
Don’t assume that any new crack, separation, door or window that doesn’t close is because of “normal settlement.” It is important to have a professional access whether or not these new cracks are going to get bigger. If you wait till they are, you will end up with more expensive repairs.
If after addressing these common mistakes you still are seeing movement, contact Stratum Foundation Repair today for an expert technician to come by to give you a FREE estimate to repair your home.