The foundation of a building is perhaps the most significant element. But it is often overlooked by homeowners, which is the worst mistake you can make. However, you cannot go complacent about its structural integrity of this feature of the building only because it isn’t visible. It bears the load of the entire structure and needs as much attention as you can give. Cracks and damage need to be addressed at the earliest because not doing so can weaken the entire building and make it unsafe over time. It is the last thing that any homeowner will want to face.
Foundation issues often arise when moisture levels fluctuate, leading to cracking and shifting. Things can get worse as problems aggravate if not resolved early. Preventive maintenance is the best approach because it can save you from a great deal of trouble and costs far lesser than damage control. It can also curb the risk to your property and family. Fortunately, you need not do a lot to keep your home foundation in top shape at all times. The following measures are enough to keep it well-maintained over the years.
Ensure proper drainage
Proper drainage is essential for the structural strength of the foundation. The soil around the area should neither be too soggy nor too dry. Cracks are most likely to appear when the soil dries out and contracts because contraction does not happen in the same direction. A part of the soil pulls in one direction and the rest in another. The foundation is stuck in the middle. It results in immense pressure on the structure, which can lead to the appearance of cracks.
Water damage is also the main culprit because excessive moisture can compromise the strength of the foundation due to obvious reasons. If the soil doesn’t seem to expel moisture properly, the earth will shift and exert undue strain on the property’s foundation. Preventing excessive dryness or moisture is the key to ensuring good drainage. You can use garden hoses or water sprinklers to moisten the soil during dry spells. Ensure that gutters and downspouts are not clogged because they can cause the soil to be waterlogged.
Get annual plumbing checks
It is equally vital to invest in regular plumbing checks for your home because plumbing issues may also cause extensive water damage in the long haul. Even small leaks under the floors and behind the walls can harm the foundation over time. They release water continuously into the ground, which can soften the soil underneath and around the foundation. It will eventually weaken the area and may even cause extensive damage.
Besides damage to the foundation, plumbing leaks and problems have other grave implications for homeowners. They can destroy the expensive furniture and elevate your monthly water bills too. It is vital to keep an eye on potential leaks and address them at the earliest. Investing in preventive annual checks can help you save a fortune because they enable you to catch leaks and resolve them before they get worse.
Get professional repair for cracks
The worst you can do for your home’s foundation is to overlook cracks and holes, which are likely to be there as your property comes of age. Do not ignore even the minor ones and get professional foundation repair as soon as you notice them. The sooner you get help, the better because it ensures damage control. If you see larger cracks, it could be an alarming sign. Regular inspection, therefore, keeps you on the safe side as it helps you pick issues and resolve them before it is too late.
You may want to DIY crack repair to save some money, but it isn’t worth risking major damage. It makes sense to spend a little today rather than incur a massive expense on repairs later down the line. Keep an eye on the area so that you can detect weak spots and get them repaired right away. The indications of foundation damage aren’t always evident, so you need to be extra watchful about detecting them. Trailing insects are also a warning sign you should consider seriously. It indicates that there could be a large crack somewhere, and you are just missing it out because it isn’t visible.
Go the extra mile with landscaping
Surprisingly, landscaping can play a significant role in keeping your home foundation in good shape. The root systems around the exterior can potentially damage the subterranean foundation walls to a significant extent. They also absorb the moisture from the surrounding soil, which can result in uneven dryness and shifting. Avoid planting trees and herbs close to the structure to keep it safe from damage. Ideally, plant them at a distance of at least two feet from the foundation’s edge.
It is easy to manage shrubs and herbs as their roots have a confined growth. But tree roots are a bigger threat because they can easily grow and reach close to the foundation, even from a greater distance. If you notice them inching closer, it is a warning sign to take drastic measures. You may even consider relocating the trees with the help of a professional landscaper to go the extra mile with the protection of the foundation’s integrity. Good landscaping surely adds to the aesthetic value of the property. But it isn’t worth risking the structural integrity of your living space.
Good care of your home’s foundation should be a part of your home maintenance and improvement checklist. You may need to be extra watchful to detect the early signs of damage, but it can make all the difference. If you suspect any issues with your home foundation, calling an expert for professional inspection is the best thing to do. You may get an inspection as a proactive measure to get a clear picture of the current situation and assess future risks. These professionals have the right expertise and experience to detect problems and recommend the right measures to ensure that the foundation is always in top shape.