Turnbull Masonry offers foundation repair in Toronto and so we’ve seen it all when it comes to foundation issues. While any foundation can suffer damage and require repairs, there are certain things homeowners can do to reduce the risk of damages. For instance, making sure water is properly draining away from the building and having plumbing systems inspected on an annual basis.
6 Tips to Protect Your Foundation from Severe Damage
#1. Keep Trees a Certain Distance from the Outside of Your Building
There are two different reasons why it’s important to keep trees and other shrubbery a certain distance from the outskirts of your property. For one, strong roots can grow beneath your foundation and create cracks while causing the foundation to sit unevenly.
In addition, during dry weather, trees and shrub roots will extract all available moisture form the soil, which can cause the soil to unnaturally contract and expand. This puts pressure on the foundation which can form cracks.
What if large plants or trees already exist near your home? If so, one of the best solutions available is to install a root barrier. This helps prevent tree roots from successfully reaching foundation walls.
#2. Make Sure Water Properly Drains Away from the Building
Water pooling near your foundation is a red flag warning that you are going to eventually run into foundation issues. Too much water will cause soil to expand and this puts pressure on the walls of the foundation. That’s why it’s so important to have proper drainage systems in place to direct water away from your home.
Adding downspouts to your building is one way to help solve the issue. In addition, ground drains can be added to help move pooling water away from the outskirts of your home. Also, having a nice slope from the outside of your home will help push water away and prevent flooding and pooling of water.
#3. Inspect Plumbing Every Year
Plumbing problems are one of the biggest contributors to foundation issues. Plumping leaks, especially those that occur beneath your foundation slab, can be caused by sewer and freshwater lines, as well as sprinkler systems. If there’s a leak in the system, it can lead to serious foundation issues that are not cheap to repair. Contact a plumber right away if you suspect a leak and have your plumbing systems regularly inspected to catch leaks before they have a chance to cause serious damage.
#4. Proper Grading is Key
The goal when grading a property is for the landscaping to slope away from the house so that water is directed away from the house, while also reducing pressure caused by soil fluctuations and freeze-thaw cycles. On the other hand, if the property slopes towards the house, the foundation walls are at an increased risk for damage.
According to expert recommendations, soil should be graded about six inches for every ten feet. If your property doesn’t make this a possibility, a French drain can be added to help prevent water from pooling around the outside of a structure.
#5. Make Sure Adjoining Concrete Structures Are Properly Installed
Are you adding a driveway, patio or even a walkway around the outside of your home? Make sure that any concrete structure is properly installed so that it doesn’t create a buildup of water around your foundation. Improperly placing these structures around your home can easily cause flooding near the foundation. Plus, it could also cause an imbalance in your foundation.
#6. Water the Soil Around Your Building
Too much water is never a good thing, but too little water can create issues too. To maintain consistent moisture levels, and prevent the soil drying out and shrinking, water the soil around your home on a regular basis, especially during periods of dry weather. Adding rock beds around your foundation will help water reach deeper soil areas and should be placed about two feet from the foundation.