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Protect Your Home’s Foundation During Drought

When we think about drought, most of us only imagine the impact it might have on crops and landscaping. What you may not know is that drought is just as bad for your home’s foundation. When soil around the foundation becomes extremely dry, it can contract, causing your home’s foundation to sink. In extremely dry seasons, soil can also settle suddenly, causing the foundation to settle and crack. A settled foundation can cost you tens of thousands of dollars to repair. In recent years, much of the foundation repair in Fort Worth has been done in response to failures caused by drought. One way to combat the impacts of drought on the home’s foundation is to take measures to prevent the soil from shrinking in the first place. The best way to do this is keeping soil around your home hydrated. Here are some simple things you can do to achieve this.

Plant shrubs and other plants around the foundation

Roots of plants help to hold soil particles together, keeping it from eroding away. During the dry season, plants also provide shade which slows moisture evaporation from the soil. Since you’ll be watering the plants regularly, you’ll also further reduce chances of foundation settling or cracking. Keep in mind that while planting shrubs and other garden plants near your home’s foundation can be beneficial, planting trees too close to your home can actually create problems for your foundation.

Water the foundation efficiently

Even in the absence of plants, you still need to regularly water your home’s foundation.  We have found that a drip irrigation system or soaker hose work best.

Consider mulching

Just like you would mulch your trees to slow down evaporation during the warm seasons, you should also mulch the soil around the foundation to keep it moist. Maintain a 2 to 4 inch layer of mulch around all shrubbery and flower beds surrounding the home. This will reduce the rate of evaporation from the soil below and allow what little water gets into the ground to stay there for a longer period of time.

Drip irrigate your lawn and foundation

Finally, you should water your foundation using a special hose known as a soaker hose. Soaker hoses attach to an outdoor faucet and have small holes that allow water to “sweat” through at a steady rate. The main benefit is that it economizes water usage by letting through very little water. Lay the hose around the perimeter of your home, about 12 inches out from the foundation. Once the gap between the foundation and the surrounding soil has closed, reduce the amount of water being applied to the soil by reducing the pressure at the faucet. Do you suspect that drought may have affected your home’s foundation? Call Atlas Foundation Company at 817-478-1181 to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation estimate today.