Posts Tagged: soaker hose

Soaker Hose Use in Dallas, Fort Woth, Plano, and Surrounding Areas

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:

Notes

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.

Getting Your House Ready For Spring

Winter is over and flowers are blooming, with a new year and beautiful weather around the corner homeowners are in the initial stages of planning for their yearly spring cleaning. Before you start throwing your sweaters and jackets to the backs of closets, perhaps you should first consider preparing your house for the rainy and following dry seasons. For most people, spring chores include resurrecting their lawns and gardens. If done in addition to the aforementioned task you can cut down on the time and money invested towards your maintenance of your foundation.  With proper foundation maintenance you can stave off another brutal Texas summer and save yourself thousands of dollars in repairs.

Maintenance

Proper Drainage

During the rainiest season of the year for most of the country, it is especially important to focus your attention to your drainage. Poor drainage can leave a few minor and major problems with your property. For beginners you probably have noticed that poor drainage can be an eye sore for you and your neighbors. Not only that, but it can also become a safety concern. Standing water can become a breeding zone for mosquitos and mold. Taking care of a few things in relation to drainage will help protect you, your lawn, and help maintain the stabilization of your foundation.

First thing you will want to check is your home’s first defense against drainage, your gutters. Check to make sure all of your gutter’s pathways are free of debris. It might also be wise to consider gutter guards, a fairly easy DIY project that can dramatically cut down the frequency you will need to service your gutters. While inspecting your gutters, if you come across a section of your house that does not have gutters installed, check the soil near the slab. If it is dried and cracked away from slab, revealing below the skirt of the foundation, you should seriously consider installing gutters above this location. Check to make sure that all downspouts are connected and extend away from the building. Check that all concrete surfaces are not slanting towards the building so that no water can be directed under your foundation.

Proper Watering

Now after reading the drainage section you might be thinking to yourself, “I thought water was good for my foundation.” This is both true and false. In this situation I refer you to a classic childhood fairy tale “Goldilocks and The Three Bears.” What we are looking for is the perfect amount of consistent water saturation around the entirety of the building. In order to achieve this, we must subtract and limit any unaccounted for watering. Once we have a blank state, we can begin a watering regiment that is best suited for both your landscaping and foundation.

The best method for watering your foundation is to install a soaker hose around the perimeter of your building. This is another fairly easy DIY project that your home and yard can benefit from greatly. Along with the hoses, you can also pick up some timers and splits for your outdoor water spigots. These will allow you to create a set and forget watering routine. Also keep in mind the part about consistency. For instance, your front might require more watering than the back and sides of your building, due to more landscaping. Also you sides might require less watering than your back, due to your neighbors sprinkler system reaching the side of your house. Try to notate any such factors when setting your timer and be ready to tweak it the first week or so. You don’t want to water so much that you have standing water and you don’t want to water so little that it’s being evaporated before it saturates the soil.

Proper Landscaping

Trees and large bushes are one of the leading factors that cause the structural integrity of your foundation to weaken. When it comes to landscaping, the most important factors are location and volume. We typically recommend keeping any bushes or trees that are higher than 4 feet tall more than 10 to 15 feet away from the foundation. Use bushes close to the house that require little water and maintenance. Trees are typically the biggest offenders when it comes to foundation problems. Trees, more specifically the roots of trees, can reach out towards and under the building and leach large amounts of water from the surrounding soil. It is important to keep the tree and bushes properly trimmed. If you suspect that a tree’s roots are close to the foundation of your building, you might consider having a root barrier installed in between the tree in question and your building.

Adding these hints, tips and tricks to your honey-do list will definitely increase the lifetime of your foundation throughout the spring and the upcoming summer.

Stratum Foundation Repair provides residential and commercial foundation repair & root barriers to the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex. We have an “A+” rating on the Better Business Bureau with zero complaints. We strive ourselves on our customer service and would never let it get to point that you would even think of complaining. With over 13 years of experience we are committed to providing the absolute best service all the way around. For additional information about our company, products and services check out our website at www.StratumFoundationRepair.com or call us today for a FREE estimate at (214) 683-2956.

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