to Avoiding Foundation Movement
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fear foundation repair, however few are aware of the simple steps they
can take to eliminate the risk or minimize foundation movement.
There are four subjects about which all homeowners should be concerned
when it come to avoiding movement of slab foundations.
on any photo for a larger view.
homeowners should be concerned about plumbing. When leaks
occur, large amounts of water can be discharged into the soils under
the foundation. As the soils absorb the water, they can swell
causing upheaval of the foundation. The water supply to a
home is metered and a review of one's monthly billing will show
the increase in water usage should a pressure line be leaking.
No special precautions need to be taken to detect leaking pressure
water lines. However there is no immediate or little evidence
with a sewer line fails. Sewer lines can cause significant
damage to foundations when leaks occur. PVC sewer lines can
leak; however fewer leaks occur because most are relatively under
25 years old. Cast iron sewer lines have a life span of 25
to 35 years. Iron sewer lines tend to rust out. As holes
increase in size, the more water they discharge under the foundation,
causing noticeable sheetrock cracks in the walls and ceiling.
Static pressure tests are a good way to identify leaking sewer lines.
A reputable plumber can perform this test for approximately $250.
of the foundation can help minimize foundation movement year round.
The secret is the proper amount of water at the proper time in order
to keep the soils from shrinking in the summer months and over expanding
in the cooler, rainier months. Because foundations rest on
top of many feet of soil, it can take an extreme amount of water
typically to stabilize a home. A soaker hose placed about
12 inches out from the foundation or a drip irrigation system should
be sufficient. Since you can only see the surface of the ground,
it can be difficult to determine the amount of water that is enough.
A plumber's probe works best in checking the depth to which the
water has gone. Simply insert the probe into the soil; when
you can push it in 2 to 4 feet, then there is probably enough water
in the soil. If the probe slides into the ground with little
pressure, then you probably need to cut back on the amount of time
you are watering that area. Remember, not all areas around
your home will need the same amount of water so be sure to test
drainage is a must for all homes' foundation. A good way to
tell if you have proper drainage is to check 30 minutes after a
good rain; if there is no water standing within 10 feet of the home,
then the drainage is adequate. If water stands in pools or
puddles against the sides of the foundation or paved areas, then
there is concern that a correction may be in order.
have a major impact on the performance of the foundation.
The more plants you have, the more you have to water. Remember
different plant types can affect the foundation in different ways.
Larger plants require more water, and can affect foundations in
different areas. Trees use about 150 gallons of water per
day for every 12 inches of diameter (that's over 20 cubic feet
of water per day). Trees can have roots extending 1 1/2
times the height of the tree extending far back under a foundation.
As a result, sometimes this causes the center or edge of a foundation
to settle. In order to minimize water consumption, trees
should be at least 20 feet from the foundation. When mature
trees have an effect on a foundation, Root
Barriers are recommended. Root Barriers can be installed
within 3 feet of the foundation and should be at least 3 feet
deep in order to prevent or arrest interior foundation settlement.
Shrubs that are next to a foundation should be kept at a maximum
height of 3 feet and a distance of 2 feet from the foundation.
of flowers can trap water against the sides of the foundation.
When installing or maintaining landscaping, it is important to
make sure there is proper adequate drainage.
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