Foundation maintenance tips
We hope that you find this section to provide helpful advice to avoid the need for foundation repair or house leveling. In most cases, the tips pertain to pier and beam as well as concrete slab foundations.
The Dallas Fort Worth area soil coupled with the varying wet, dry and hot periods pose unique problems that stress your foundation and any installed pier system. Adherence to this check list can help to avert the need for future foundation repair.
- Proper watering all year long around the foundation.
- Year around the soil should be watered to maintain constant moisture around the perimeter of the slab without creating a muddy state under the slab. Due to the effects of shade and sun, watering should be adjusted for each area of the perimeter. Adjust watering for seasonal changes in heat and rain.
- If a soaker hose is used, it should be placed 12 to 18 inches from the foundation and never next to it.
- Over watering is indicated by soft soil and/or standing water and should be avoided.
- Water should not be allowed to pool within 15 feet of the house.
- Be careful not to over water enclosed planter areas that are adjacent or within 15 feet of the perimeter. These enclosed areas should have adequate drainage away from the perimeter of the foundation.
- Proper water drainage away from a concrete slab or pier and beam house.
- The soil should slope a minimum of 6 inches over a distance of 8 feet from the foundation perimeter.
- Water accumulation under a pier and beam house will cause the piers to sink and the floor to feel bouncy.
- The area toward which it slopes should be sufficient to allow drainage drain freely away from the house and prevent any pooling or softness of the soil.
- Depressions that alter the drainage slope should be filled. One such common occurrence is a drip line depression that forms below the edge of the roof.
- Air conditioning condensate shall be drained away from the foundation in a like manner as that of gutters.
- French drains and surface drains are sometimes required and may have been installed prior to or as a part of the repair. Surface drains should be checked and free of debris in order to perform as intended.
- Trees can be a source of problems as they may remove moisture from the foundation.
- Trees should be no closer than their canopy height from the perimeter of the foundation, or a vertical impenetrable root barrier shall be installed to a minimum depth of three feet and for a length equivalent to the height of the mature canopy, or 10 feet beyond any foundation perimeter that faces the tree when the foundation perimeter ends sooner.
- Shrubs or bushes with a height in excess of 3 feet require the same treatment as trees.
- Rain gutter systems should be kept free of debris and adequately maintained. Downspouts should either feed water into a drainage system, or should include a three foot extension to physically drain water away from the foundation.
- It is normal for soil to settle in the area of a foundation repair and the homeowner will need to add clay like soil to fill the depression.
- Plumbing problems.
Dripping faucets, sewer line and fresh water plumbing leaks can soften or swell the soil and may cause foundation failure. If your house is over 30 years old, we recommend a professional leak test every 1-2 years.
- Other sources of water that can cause foundation problems include but are not limited to swimming pool systems, Spas and water either from source(s) on your own property or from neighboring property.
- Be attentive to assure that landscaping changes on your property or neighboring properties do not lead to water conditions which would damage your foundation or pier system.
Granite Foundation Repair Recommends Steel Piers and Helical Piers
For Optimum Support and Maximum Penetration to Load Bearing Strata