Another day in Dallas-Fort Worth…….another day of 100 degree heat……another day with no rain. As this Summer of 2011 turns into ground hog day I am often asked what a homeowner should be doing in regards to maintaining their homes foundation. The answer: Water the foundation. If you are from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex then the idea of watering your foundation might not seem so strange. Want to see a dumbfounded look on someones face? Find someone new to the area and tell them they should “water their foundation”. They will definitely look at you like your crazy!
The #1 thing a homeowner can do to avoid foundation repairs is make use of soaker hoses. There are only a few set in stone rules regarding soaker hoses:
1- Do not connect multiple soaker hoses together(nothing over 50 ft). This will cause a loss of water pressure towards the end of the line thus leading to uneven watering.
2- Place the hose 12-18 inches from the foundation. DO NOT place the hose against the foundation – this will lead to the water collecting at the bottom of the foundation beam and destabilizing the foundation. It can also lead to deterioration of the concrete.. The idea is to swell the dirt back into the house. This can be accomplished by placing the hose the proper distance from the house.
The most obvious question at this point: How often should I run the soaker hose. This is trial and error and highly dependent on the weather. The goal is to keep the soil surrounding the foundation damp. Not muddy, damp. Also, make sure the water is not ponding. The soaker hose should be dispensing water at a slow enough rate that the soil can absorb the water in its entirety. If the water is ponding then reduce the frequency and or pressure with which you are watering. A quick test: Go outside and try to place your fingers between your foundation and the soil. Is there a space? If so then you aren’t watering enough. There should never be a space between the soil and the foundation.
The bottom line: Soaker hose use prevents foundation problems and may prevent you from needing foundation repairs. It may also correct existing foundation problems.
Soaker hoses are recommended for all of the Dallas – Fort Worth metroplex including Plano, Allen, McKinney, and Frisco.