How to help prevent your concrete foundation from cracking and settling
Foundation issues are never fun to deal with and large cracks or substantial settling can mean expensive repairs. Here are some simple tips to help prevent major issues in the future.
Remove trees and large woody shrubs. Tree and shrub roots can move under the foundation and as time goes on they will grow in diameter causing the concrete to lift and crack. Roots generally grow out as far as the limbs. If you have limbs over your roof line or touching your home it may be time to have the plant in question removed.
Ensure soil is sloped away from the foundation. Having soil sloped toward your foundation will cause soil saturation which can lead to settling. According to Washington State building code the grade must fall a min of 6 inches within the first 10 feet around the perimeter of the foundation. If this is not currently the case with your foundation it might be time to have a professional correct the slope or have a french drain installed around your home in order to divert runoff.
Install gutters. If your home or garage does not have gutters than all the rain runoff is falling close to your foundation which will saturate the soil and possibly cause settling. Having gutters installed is a much cheaper fix than having to correct a foundation that has settled.
Add downspout extensions or splash blocks. Downspouts that drain right at the base of the foundation can cause settling. Adding an extension or splash block will direct water away from the foundation.
Redirect sprinkler systems. If a sprinkler system is constantly saturating the soil around the base of your home it may be time to rethink your landscaping plan. P
urchase sprinkler head nozzles where you can adjust how many degrees the nozzle distributes water and how far. If you have soaker hoses in your flower beds near the foundation consider replacing them with drip lines that go directly to the base of the plants and set a timer for the minimum amount needed.
Have cracks in patios and walkways sealed. Large cracks in patios and walkways that are up against your foundation can let water leak down into the surrounding soil. Having a professional come out and seal the cracks can prevent issues in the future.
If you have any of these listed issues and have questions call Peterson Construction and Maintenance 360-580-4403.