It’s essential to take care of your foundation; it holds up the whole house. However, many homeowners don’t know what they’re doing and make mistakes that can be costly. In this blog post, we will discuss some common mistakes homeowners make when it comes to their foundation so you can avoid them!
Forgetting about downspout pipes: When it rains, you want your foundation to drain properly. If the downspout pipes are clogged up with leaves and other debris, water can’t run off of your roof as fast as it should. This causes a backup in front of your home, which is terrible for two reasons: firstly, if there’s too much-standing water near the house, cracks could form; secondly, the extra weight on top of already heavy soil will cause cracks! Make sure you know how to clear blocked downspouts so they don’t damage your foundation or create any more problems for you.
Not protecting yourself from basement floods: Did you know that one inch of rain over an acre-sized area can generate nearly 13 million gallons of runoff? If your basement floods, that much water suddenly running downstream could erode soil and create cracks in the foundation. Not only should you be concerned about flooding from too much rain, but also groundwater seepage, which can cause the same problems as a flooded basement.
If it’s built up high around your home: You may have seen homes surrounded by tall “moats” of dirt or stone with no plants, so basically just mud all around them. This is not good for several reasons – firstly because if there are chunks of concrete on top, they tend to break down over time due to freeze-thaw cycles. Secondly, these moats hold moisture against foundations leading to faster deterioration than usual. Third, taller moats alter airflow around the home, leading to more air infiltration and moisture buildup.
If it’s not built up high around your home: To prevent water from accumulating against foundations, some homeowners will build small dams or berms in front of their house. However, this is worse than just leaving all that space open because, without plants and good airflow, there is no way for soil microbes to break down organic matter like leaves that could be lingering on top. Not only does this create an inviting place for insects, but also standing water with nowhere to go. So, it flows towards your foundation! If you want a pleasant environment near your home, try planting grasses and shrubs rather than building raised beds or mounds of dirt around it.
If you’re not using weed-resistant landscaping fabric: Conventional landscaping fabrics prevent sunlight from reaching the soil and weeds, but they also keep moisture in, which is bad for your foundation. The result is a lot of tall grass around your home – and where there’s tall grass, there are bound to be snakes! Not only can these critters damage foundations as their burrowing habits will leave holes that could widen over time, but it’s also important to remember that poisonous snakes like rattlesnakes often nest under homes or porches.
If your foundation isn’t protected from water infiltration: You may be thinking, “I don’t want a leaky basement again!” and that’s definitely understandable. However, just because there aren’t any leaks doesn’t mean there won’t be problems with standing water. Not only would this damage foundations, but also underground utilities making life difficult for those living in the building. Even though it takes longer than floods or seepage, moisture can still gradually break down concrete walls.
If you’re not using a sump pump: We’ve all heard the horror stories of people who go on vacation and come back to find their entire homes flooded – which is bad enough for homeowners, but even worse when you realize there was nothing they could do because nobody was home! This problem could easily have been avoided if only they had invested in a battery backup or solar-powered sump pump. Without one, your foundation will inevitably suffer damage from seepage and groundwater flooding over time and without warning.
If you’re not using a dehumidifier: Like many of these problems, running into issues with excess humidity is usually an easy problem to avoid. They can be prevented by installing a dehumidifier in your basement (which will also help protect against mold and mildew). This helps control air moisture levels so that wood doesn’t expand or shrink, which would eventually cause damage like cracks over time, but even more importantly, it prevents floorboards from warping. Not only does this keep everything looking nice and normal around the foundation itself, but it keeps things intact upstairs too!
Don’t let these problems happen to your home – it’s better to do small things now than suffer larger consequences. Your foundation should be protected by installing simple items like weed-resistant landscaping fabric, sump pump, dehumidifier, and more! The best part is that the solutions are cheap, so there really isn’t any justification for not doing them. If you’re still unsure what kind of products would work well around your foundation, the best thing to do is contact a foundation repair expert.