Friday, April 4, 2014

How to Avoid Foundation Failure in North Texas

How to Avoid Foundation Failure in North Texas

Members of the Grove Team have previewed, shown, and sold thousands of homes over the past sixteen years.  As we have worked with our clients, we have found that home buyers and homeowners fear the possibility of foundation failure more than any other possible breakdown of a home's systems or structure. 

Most North Texans have heard endless  tales of the expense and frustration of foundation repair. Well-meaning friends regale possible new residents with misinformation about clay soil that makes foundation failure inevitable.

Poor lot preparation or substandard construction practices can sometimes cause foundation issues that cannot be solved in any other way than remedial reinforcement with piers or even demolition of the home.  However, these cases compose only the smallest percentage of cases of foundation failure.  Homeowners can prevent most foundation problems by maintaining even moisture levels in the soil around their homes.

There are two rules to remember to prevent foundation failure.

 # 1 Do not allow water to stand next to the foundation.
  • Install a complete gutter system to direct water away from the foundation.  Without gutters, thunderstorms create deluges of rain.  These deluges wear away the soil and leave puddles of  standing water.  Gutters may seem expensive, but usually are a fraction of the cost of foundation repair.
  • Ensure that the soil slopes away from the home for a distance of approximately five feet so water will drain.
  • Eliminate flower beds that trap water next to the foundation.
#2 Maintain even soil moisture around the foundation.

  • Place soaker hoses between two and three feet away from the foundation around the perimeter of the home.  Begin a watering program to maintain moisture all year.  If soil has pulled away from the foundation, the soil beneath your foundation needs deep watering.
  • Remove plants or trees that are close to the foundation and robbing the foundation of moisture. Traditional wisdom maintains that trees should be no closer to the foundation that their mature height.  However, honoring this rule can be almost impossible on smaller lots and on resale homes.  If you need advice on whether to remove a shrub or tree, call a reliable foundation company for a free consultation.
  • Test the moisture content of the soil by digging down at least three inches next to the foundation.  Some soil should stick to your finger.  If not, a watering program should begin.
  • Remember that different sides of your home may need more moisture.  A western exposure can dry that side of the house more than other sides.
For more information about protecting the foundation of your home and referrals to reliable contractors, contact the experienced members of the Grove Team.

Whether it's selling your home or finding a new one, we have designed this site so that you can quickly and easily locate the information you are looking for. The Grove Team's client-centered approach results in the best possible outcome for you. Please contact us now to begin the process of achieving your dreams in home ownership.
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