Moisture and Foundation Problems
People are often confused about keeping
the right moisture levels around their house when it
comes to properly maintaining the foundation. The
proper moisture levels vary dramatically depending
on the type of foundation you have. Keeping a
constant moisture level around your foundation is
important to prevent from having settlement problems
down the road.
With slab foundations, you wish
to have the surrounding areas around the slab with
balanced moisture levels - not too dry and not too
wet. The underneath of the slab typically doesn't
matter unless there are other drainage or plumbing
issues. When it comes to pier and beam construction,
this is a different story. You want the underneath
of the crawl space to be bone dry. This is how it
was when the piers were put in and this is how it
should be maintained.
With pier and beam foundations,
when the moisture levels underneath the house are
too high and/or fluctuate dramatically due to
draining and/or plumbing leak issues. You can
generally tell if the underneath of pier and beam
houses are dry by seeing cracks in the soil in the
crawl space. This is a good sign. If you see water
puddles, call us to get an assessment of the
About Watering & Your
Many homeowners have questions about watering. How
much is too much? How much is too little? How close
to the house should I water? How does watering
affect the foundation of my home?
Obviously, some of us are over-watering, as
evidenced by long streams of water flowing down the
gutters and into the storm sewers. Not only is this
wasteful, it is also harmful to your lawn and
Conversely, many of us have not watered nearly
enough, as evidenced by grass that is dead or very
nearly dead in its peak growing season. Foundation
problems caused by expansive clay soils usually
develop when the amount of water in the soil changes
non-uniformly under the perimeter or interior of the
Our climate is such that these clay soils shrink
when dry and swell when wet, resulting in up and
down movement of the house. If this occurs unevenly
(one area of soil under the house gets more water or
dries out faster), the house may become strained and
foundation damage occurs.
Foundation maintenance, in general, consists of one
major concept: The moisture in the soil under and
around the house should be as consistent and uniform
as possible at all times.
Bedrock Foundation Repair
offers the following tips to watering and
maintaining your home’s lawn and foundation:
1. Install good ground cover. This will prevent
excessive moisture from seeping deep into the soil.
This will also prevent erosion of the soil and
excessive drying of the soil through evaporation.
2. Water the soil around the house during dry
periods just enough to keep the grass green. More
watering may be needed in areas with more abundant
shrubbery and plants. The south and west sides of
the house are more exposed to the sun, and they may
need more watering to offset rapid evaporation.
3. Never water too close to the foundation. Stay at
least 18 inches away from the base of the
4. Never water directly into cracks in the soil near
the base of your foundation. These cracks usually go
a few feet deep, and the water will reach soil that
is normally undisturbed by concentrated amounts of
moisture. Depending on the shrink/swell potential of
the soil, the soil may up-heave, or it may
consolidate and lose volume. Either way, it can
undermine the foundation.
5. Never place sand, sandy loam or rocks around the
foundation. They are very porous, and allow water to
pass quickly to the soil below, where the sun and
wind cannot dry it out. Clay soils are non-porous,
and are recommended for proper water drainage away
from the house.
6. Never allow water to pond around the foundation.
If water stands for very long, it will seep under
the foundation, causing problems. Create a positive
slope for water to flow away.
When it's your
foundation, we're the ones to call...
WE DO IT ALL!