Foundation Tips for Homeowners

Because of the long periods of heat, Florida can be infamous for its fair share of foundation issues. As the weather becomes dry and hot, the soil around your home will contract and possibly cause your house to shift. This can explain cracks and uneven surfaces in your home. To avoid some very costly and time-consuming house repairs, here are some tips from various companies on how to care for your foundation.

Schedule a yearly plumbing inspection
According to Granite Foundation Repair, “plumbing leaks are one of the biggest causes of foundation issues. Check for leaks in sprinkler systems, freshwater lines, sewer lines and other parts of your plumbing system.”

If you notice a plumbing leak anywhere in your house, call your plumber immediately.

Install root barriers
If a large tree with invasive roots is too close to your home foundation, you can have root barricades installed. You may also have the tree removed from your property to prevent damage, such as heaving in driveways and sidewalks, cracking in walls and sometimes even sewer line issues.

Common trees with invasive roots are Silver Maple, American Elm, Live Oaks, and Magnolias.

Keep the soil around your home foundation at a constant moisture level
Many Florida homes have a sprinkler system installed around the base of the house. If your home does not have this, it may be worth the time and money to install one and prevent swelling and shrinking of the soil around your concrete.

“The soil… [has] a tremendous capacity to absorb (and lose) water,” An article by Dawson Foundation Repair stated. “This means that the soil will swell when it is very wet and it will shrink when it is very dry. This creates significant stresses on the concrete slab which is resting on top of the soil. Keeping the soil around your home foundation at a constant moisture level with seepage water hoses will help reduce the chances of needing house leveling in the future.”

Install a good drainage system for your home
Houses are built on either a positive or a negative slope. A positive slope ensures that water is draining away from the building. A negative slope does just the opposite: it forces water to flow towards your foundation.

Be sure to consistently clean out your homes gutters and downspouts. Granite Foundation Repair also explained how to unclog a clogged downspout: you may need to insert a plumber’s snake into the downspout to clear it out completely.

Monitor your home’s temperature
To the best of your ability, keep your house at a consistent temperature without going too high or too low. Too many temperature fluctuations may cause your structure’s concrete slab to expand and then contract, which causes foundation damage.

Keep a Foundation Log
It may be a good idea to track the changes in foundation, especially by noting the size of cracks and such. To a foundation repair specialist, this written log can be extremely valuable, should your house need repairs.

Check your homeowner’s insurance
Depending on your policy, it may cover foundation or plumbing repair. This would ease up a lot of the out-of-pocket costs for you and your family.

Questions? Comments? Reach out to your First International Title rep today!