Preventative Foundation Maintenance
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Preventative Foundation Maintenance
Preventative Foundation MaintenanceMinor maintenance now can prevent costlyfoundation repairs in the future.Foundation settling problems and movement such as heaving typically in Eastern Missouri is causedby building on expansive clay, improperly compacted fill soils, or improper maintenance aroundfoundations in the St. Louis area.[BOX]In most cases, water typically is the culprit.[/BOX]You should review the list below and possible actions to control or minimize the various sources.Many of these actions can become a routine part of your ongoing conscientious owner maintenanceactivities. Annually inspect the area within 5 feet of all sides of your foundation after a rain to determine if proper drainage is maintained away from your structure. Monitor existing cracks for progressive or seasonal movements.Rainfall Non-uniform runoff from roof may result in localized heave. Maintain soil sloping awayfrom all sides of the foundation for a distance of at least 5 feet. Use gutters with downspouts thatdischarge at least 3 feet from the foundation.Poor Drainage Localized source of water from rainwater flowing or ponding next to the foundationmay lead to localized heaving of the foundation. Slope ground away from all sides of the foundationfor a distance of at least 5 feet. Create drainage swales to divert water away from the foundation.Keep the dirt line several inches below the brick line and use clay soil fill to create positive slopeaway from the foundation. Do not use SANDY SOILS for fill next to the foundation, use CLAYS.Compact the fill to shed water, not absorb it. Proper grade of your landscape to slope away fromyour home is at least 6% or a drop of 6 inches in 8 feet.Gutter Down Spouts Concentrated sources of water may lead to non-uniform foundationmovements. Extend discharge a minimum of 3 feet from the foundation. Use splash blocks to avoiderosion or use flexible discharge tubes.Hot and Dry Climate Loss of soil moisture from under foundation edges may cause foundationsettlement. Uniformly water the landscape planting and area next to all sides of the foundation.Install automatic sprinkler systems. Add sidewalks adjacent to the foundation.
Excess Drying on the West Side/Non-uniform Moisture Loss Non-uniform drying on all sidesof foundation from the sun or failure to provide watering on all sides of the foundation may causenon-uniform foundation movements. Apply more landscape water on drier sides of the foundation.Use mulch to slow evaporative drying. Plant quality shade trees along with installation of a treeroot/vertical moisture barrier.Yard Drainage and Landscaping Trees Tree roots grow under foundations and dry out soilscausing non-uniform foundation settlements. Plant the tree a distance greater than their matureheight from the foundation. If existing trees are closer, install an approximately 4-foot deep treeroot/vertical moisture barrier system near the foundation and possibly prune trees (to limit moisturestress) if barrier system is under the drip line of the tree. Water tree roots away from the foundation.Landscape Planting Drying from roots, transpiration and soil suction may cause non-uniformfoundation movements. Plant bushes and shrubs away from the foundation. Uniformly water plantsand do not flood or pond water next to the foundation.Landscape/Retaining Walls Non-uniform drying on all sides of foundation may result innon-uniform foundation settlements. Apply more landscape water on retaining wall than other sidesof the foundation. Use mulch to slow evaporation.Plumbing Line Leaks Leaks in sewer or water lines provides localized source of water that maylead to localized foundation movements. Monitor water bills. Get leak detection plumber to isolateand repair leaks, and verify repairs with pressure tests.Flower Beds Localized source of water not on all sides of foundation, may result in non-uniformfoundation movements. Do not flood or pond irrigation water. Slope ground surface away from thefoundation. Do not trap water near the foundation with edging and use mulch to slow evaporation.Sprinkler Valves Valves frequently leak and joints may leak with time, resulting in localized watersources which may cause non-uniform foundation movements. Locate at least 5 feet from foundationand inspect valves frequently.Over Watering Provides excess source of soil water for suction to draw moisture under foundationwhich may cause a stable area to begin heaving and damaging your structure. Water just enough tokeep plants and grass alive and growing, not thriving and lush through saturating the ground.A/C Unit Condensation A concentrated source of water can result in non-uniform foundationmovements. Direct the discharge line to drip on a concrete pad or splash block which has beenproperly sloped away from the foundation.While the soils vary from town to town, it is important to maintain your structure if you livein St. Charles, St. Louis, South County, Warrenton, Columbia or anywhere else in Missouri. Call us today for a no-obligation assessment about how to correct your foundation problems.