5 Ways to Prevent Foundation Cracks and Faults
Maintaining consistent moisture levels is key to preventing foundation cracks and faults. San Antonio is notorious for droughts and dry soil. Soil expansion and contraction is one of the major causes of foundation faults and cracks in San Antonio and surrounding areas. The important thing to remember is keeping the moisture level of the soil consistent throughout the seasons.
Guidelines to follow for prevention of foundation problems:
1. Drainage and Landscape Grading
Making sure your yard is graded 6-10 inches is beneficial for more than just protecting your foundation. Grading creates an angle in the soil, causing the soil to turn away from your house and creates water runoff. Grading adds a slope to your yard that allows for optimum drainage. Not only will this protect your home, but will also keep landscaping projects lasting longer
2. Downspout Extensions
Buy an extender for your downspout to keep water away from the house. Installing downspout extensions will direct the water away from your foundation and into a spot where the soil can absorb it. It is recommended to place them at least 5 feet from the house. Companies such as Raingaurd specialize in downspout extensions.
3. Prepare for Changing Weather
When San Antonio droughts occur, the soil surrounding your house can expand and contract once the rain returns. Running a hose 6 inches from the foundation can help with this. It is important to try and keep the moisture in the soil consistent, so don’t overwater. Be sure to be aware of the SAWS (San Antonio Water System) current water conservation ordinance in your neighborhood.
4. Beware of Tree Roots
During a drought, plant and tree roots will struggle to find moisture and take as much from the soil as possible. This will cause your foundation to sink and become unsteady. It is important to plant trees and plants away from the house. This is essential for many other safety reasons as well. It may be beneficial to have a tree removal service help with any trees that have branches touching the house.
5. Plumbing Maintenance
Having your plumbing systems inspected on a regular basis is a good idea for many reasons. It can prevent water leaks before they start. Water leaks from plumbing systems can wreak havoc on your home. Plumbing systems slowly deteriorate over time with normal wear and tear. You can also purchase water alarms and place them near potential leak areas such as underneath sinks.
The important thing to remember about foundation cracks is to address the issue as soon as possible. Delaying repairs can cause water to leak into your home, causing even more problems.