Foundations are one of the most important elements of a house, and yet they take a lot of abuse over the years. From water damage to improperly poured foundations, it doesn’t take much for a foundation to lose its integrity. Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure your foundation remains in good condition and lasts for years to come.
Assessing Your Foundation
Assessing the condition of your home’s foundation is the first step in making sure it lasts forever. Start by performing a walk-through in the interior of the home. Take note of any cracks you see in the ceiling or walls, windows that have trouble shutting, or doors that are no longer level. Then do another inspection of the exterior of the house. Keep an eye out for any cracks along the foundation above the basement or crawlspace. Also take note of any sagging features, like chimneys or porches, and any loose mortar joints if you have brick siding.
If you do not notice anything out of the ordinary, then the foundation of your home is in great shape. If you did see anything that concerns you, then you should have it inspected by a professional foundation repair company. The faster you get any issues fixed, the better your foundation will be in the long run.
Water is a foundation killer if it is left unchecked. One of the biggest water-related issues stems from improper drainage around the house. If you are having issues with soil, consider installing two feet of rocks around the entire perimeter of the house. This will help ensure water drains away from the foundation during the wet season. You should also check your gutters on an annual basis and make sure they are properly draining water away from the house.
Plumbing leaks are another way in which water can wreak havoc on your foundation. It is usually recommended to have the plumbing inspected on a yearly basis to avoid any major incidents. Not only will catching the leaks early save your foundation, but it will also help you save thousands on your monthly water bill. Taking this approach also helps prevent mold buildup that results from too much moisture around the house.
Large cracks are a big concern when it comes to the integrity of the foundation, but smaller cracks and fissures can be repaired. Start by cleaning out the cracks and removing dirt and debris. Then fill in the fissure with epoxy that is rated for concrete repairs. Once the crack is filled, keep an eye on it and make note if it gets any wider. You should keep a log of all of the cracks you notice around the house, including their length and width. Check the cracks for growth on an annual basis and call a contractor if you think there may be an issue.
Good landscaping can add a lot of curb appeal to your home, but it can also be detrimental to your foundation if not done properly. For instance, if you plant large trees close to the home, the roots can dig their way into the foundation and cause serious damage. Roots can also erode the soil and create a drainage problem. To prevent this, avoid planting trees too close to the foundation. As a rule of thumb, if the branches can reach the house then the roots can as well. If your house already has trees that are too close, then consider having them relocated to a different part of the property. You can also install a root barrier around the foundation to prevent any issues.
Inside Temperature Control
You should try and keep a constant temperature inside the home all year long. This will help prevent the foundation from expanding and contracting under temperature shifts from the outside. In other words, do not fail to cool or heat your house for extended periods of time.