Home Business Insights & Advice A homeowner’s checklist for proactive home foundation maintenance

A homeowner’s checklist for proactive home foundation maintenance

by John Saunders
1st Oct 20 2:01 pm

The foundation of your home is the base on which the entire structure stands. Although it may not be visible, it deserves all the attention you can give. As long as the walls do not show cracks, the flooring looks even and the doors close properly, you can rest assured that your home foundation is in good shape. But it makes sense to take a proactive approach to its maintenance because even minor damage may require expensive repair. Here is a checklist you can follow to maintain it and steer clear of costly damage treatment.

Pay attention to cracks

Foundation cracks are dangerous, regardless of their size. Even small ones can cause long-term damage, so you need to keep an eye on them. If you see a crack now, track changes on it over time because temperature and rain exposure can aggravate the problem faster than you think. If the cracks appear to increase in length or width, it is advisable to call a professional for a foundation inspection right away. Periodic preventive checks are equally important if you want to nip the problem early.

Drainage is important

Proper drainage is a significant element of foundation maintenance. Make sure that water does not collect near the house because it can cause expansion of the soil and exert stress on the foundation walls. Investing in a proper drainage system helps as in-ground drains prevent the accumulation of water near the foundation. Downspouts can play a key role in directing rain and roof runoff away from the house.

Keep the soil consistently moist

While standing water can damage the home foundation, excessive dryness isn’t also good for it. Constant expansion and contraction of soil due to change in moisture levels can cause extensive damage, which can be prevented by having an effective Foundation Watering system in place. It ensures that moisture stays at a consistent level so that it does not move at any time. You end up with a stronger home foundation that lasts for decades.

Ensure proper tree placement

Surprisingly, tree placement also has an impact on the foundation’s strength. Having them too near elevates the risk of the soil drying out as trees roots can absorb gallons of water every day and even cause the surrounding soil to shrink. Eventually, this can weaken the structure to a considerable extent. Installing a root barrier and planting trees at an optimal distance from the foundation are good measures to keep it strong and safe.

Get smart with landscaping

Smart landscaping is another effective measure for maintaining the home foundation for years. Ideally, the ground elevations of the landscaped bushes and flowerbeds close to the house should be a few inches over the finished wall elevation. Also, make sure that the landscaped areas slope away from the foundation to enable proper drainage and to help prevent moisture seepage into the foundation.

A little extra care can make all the difference to the strength and integrity of the foundation of your house. Don’t cringe about spending a little money and effort on its maintenance because it can save you from massive expenses and inconvenience in the long run.

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