Anyone who owns a home in the Stafford area needs to take the time to maintain their foundation. Otherwise, expensive and time-consuming repairs may be needed. Fortunately, there are some simple preventative steps that you can take to keep any problems to a minimum.
Inspect your foundation from time to time to see if any cracks are developing. If you spot a crack before it becomes too large, you may be able to patch it up and prevent it from widening. Clean out the crack and use some epoxy glue to fill it. Hairline cracks in concrete can often be addressed with these products.
One of the biggest problems your foundation will face is the moisture level in the surrounding soil. If this level varies too much over time, or if your soil is too wet or too dry, your foundation can easily suffer damage. You need to take steps to ensure that these levels stay as consistent as possible within the correct range.
For example, when Stafford is suffering a long dry spell, you need to water the ground near your foundation to keep it moist. Otherwise, the soil can contract, putting a great deal of strain on your foundation. However, you do not want to add too much water to the soil, either.
Soil that is too wet can swell and heave, which is just as hard on a foundation. Ensuring proper drainage is also important if you want to avoid problems. The ground near your home needs to be graded so that rainwater drains away from the structure, rather than pooling next to the foundation.
Downspouts also need to be long enough to carry rainwater away from your home. A good rule of thumb is to choose ones that are at least five feet long if your soil is sandy. If the soil in your yard is more expansive, you will want a downspout that is at least 10 feet long.
Make sure that your gutters have enough capacity to handle the heaviest rainstorms that you tend to get in your area. Otherwise, rainwater can run straight off the edge of the roof and collect in puddles near your foundation. Clean your gutters regularly to remove any debris that may prevent water from flowing through them.
A moisture barrier can also be used to prevent water from collecting in the wrong place. This is a good solution if you are unable to regrade your soil for some reason. These barriers should be at least five feet deep for the best results.
Another common source of moisture problems can be leaks from your pipes and plumbing. Have these inspected on an annual basis to make sure that water is not leaking into the soil. If any problems are found, have them repaired immediately.
As you can see, moisture is one of the chief enemies of a foundation. You need to take steps to ensure that the ground underneath your home is well-suited to a healthy foundation. Keep these tips in mind so that you can avoid expensive foundation repairs.