Owning a home is fulfilling and with it comes a responsibility to keep the home in good shape. At the heart of every home, structure is its foundation, supporting the whole structure. Foundation repair is expensive and damage to your home’s foundation could render it inhabitable. It is therefore important, as a homeowner, to initiate some preventive measures against foundation damage.
Home maintenance tips
- Moisture content around the foundation.
This is a key factor to consider in maintaining the integrity of the foundation. Maintaining a positive slope away from the foundation is important because it prevents saturation around the foundation. Changes in the moisture content of soil around the foundation cause shrinking or expansion of the soil, consequently exerting tension on the foundation; a common cause of foundation cracks.The existence of external works around the foundation such as concrete sidewalks could also help prevent evaporation or seeping of water into the soil around the foundation.
- Check tree coverage.
Tree coverage around the home should be checked to ensure it does not pose harm to the foundation. Some trees are water intensive and take up over 15 gallons of water a day. This is likely to dry up the soil around the foundation causing it to shrink and exerting stress on it. Check here.
- Proper water drainage.
Proper drainage of rainwater should be maintained by cleaning out gutters and checking for clogging. Maintaining gutters will ensure the foundation’s integrity is not compromised by excessive water. Additionally, flower beds around the house should also have proper drainage. The beds close to the foundation could pose a threat if they retain a lot of water.
- Regular structural inspections.
Masonry works in a foundation should be regularly inspected by a structural engineer. Concrete may peel off due to natural wear, exposing the reinforcing steel beneath. This exposure leaves steel prone to corrosion and consequently affecting the strength of the steel and stability of the foundation.Exposure as a result of animal damage should also be checked and any burrows in the soil left behind filled up to avoid water flowing into them.As part of masonry works it is also important to waterproof the foundation to prevent water seeping. It is recommended that such waterproofing goes slightly above the slab level for sufficient coverage.
- Do not ignore cracks.
If you see any minor cracks be concerned. Measure the cracks periodically to know if they are getting longer. If so, contact a structural engineer.
- Maintain steady temperature.
It is wise to maintain a steady temperature in the room. Changing temperature levels would lead to expansion or shrinking of the concrete hence the development of cracks.
- Check for leaks.
Leaks could mess with masonry works in the foundation, therefore it is necessary to check for them occasionally. Leaks could lead to increased moisture in the soil which as mentioned above is a threat to the foundation. Always have all the leakages fixed.
Home maintenance is a continuous process, more so for foundations. It is therefore recommended to have a foundation inspection done seasonally, after spring and winter, or annually. For more information visit: http://crosstownengineering.com/projects/
- Fix things yourself
If you find issues don’t be afraid to fix them yourself, you may feel like you don’t have the knowledge or skills but that can be easily fixed by reading this.