House Leveling Issues: Tips to Maintain Your Foundation
The soil in and around San Antonio is typically clay, which gives this area its unique appearance from a geological perspective. The clay’s functionality underneath your house might be questionable, however. It naturally holds and expels water in great volumes. If moisture changes are too extreme over time, your foundation will show stress fractures in response. To avoid major house leveling issues, use these tips to maintain your household foundation.
Keep an Eye on Drainage
A standard tip to avoid foundation problems is moving water away from the home. Angle roof gutters and drainage spouts away from the foundation. Ideally, the water should run down a driveway or installed conduit. If the water pools or erodes the foundation’s edges, you’ll end up with cracks and further damage as the years pass. During the next rain, observe the structure from the sidewalk. Adjust any drainage areas as necessary. Saving your home from any foundation damage will protect its value as an investment in your future.
Watering for House Leveling Purposes
It may seem counter-intuitive to water the soil around your foundation, but there’s a real science to this tip. Because the clay soil expands and contracts with its moisture levels, you should water the area twice weekly to control the movement. The soil won’t react to extreme conditions when you maintain the same water levels each week. Foundation problems result when extreme dryness or flooding occurs at the site. Professionals suggest a volume of 1- to 1.5-inches of water added to the soil each time. Use a tuna can placed in the area as a measuring device so that you’re aware of the proper water volume applied at the site.
Examine the Surrounding Root Systems
House leveling issues also occur when tree roots become an issue. Some species are aggressive growers, and they’ll seek out water underneath your home. As the roots extend, they break apart the soil. Shifting soil and roots growing into foundation cracks will eventually lead to concrete damage. Be aware of the tree roots growing close to your home. Transplanting the plants might be your best option. Choosing another species altogether can also solve any soil issues. Tree roots that remain near the trunk won’t become an issue under your home in the future.
Reroute Air-Conditioning Lines
Regardless of your air conditioner’s age, every model leaks condensation as a mechanism during household cooling. This moisture is normally routed away from your home to evaporate or drain elsewhere. Avoid foundation problems by verifying that your air conditioner’s drainage line extends at least three feet away from the home. Water shouldn’t pool around the concrete pad. This will reduce soil shifting from the excess moisture. If you’re not familiar with your system’s drainage areas, ask a professional for a tour. This information can be critical to your home’s stability.
Slope the Yard
When every rainstorm seems to flow toward your house, it’s time to take a hard look at your yard’s slope or angle. The yard should have a slight angle away from your house. This landscaping strategy reduces the amount of water that soaks the soil at the foundation’s edge. Use soil, grass and bushes to maintain a strong slope on your property.
If you plan on any additions to the home, always hire structural engineers to verify the weight changes. Your foundation was built to support the original structure, and an addition may be too much load for the concrete pad. With an appropriate addition to your San Antonio home, the foundation will remain strong and robust for many years ahead. House leveling won’t be necessary as a result.