Keeping your home’s foundation protected can go a long way in preventing damage and saving you on foundation repair. But what goes into ensuring your foundation is as protected as possible? Well, there are a number of things to consider, before and after build, and in the dry Colorado climate. Here are a few to consider regarding how to protect your home’s foundation.
Let’s Talk About Downspouts
The position of your downspouts can have a big impact on the wear and tear on your foundation. If not properly installed, they can route water toward your foundation instead of away, which can cause pooling and damage much earlier than it might show up otherwise. Make sure your downspouts are properly carrying water and debris away from your home’s foundation, pointing them outward rather than at an angle to the side.
Where’s it Built
If you’re building your home, and looking to help your foundation out from the start, build it on a mound, of sorts. We’re not saying make sure your home is at the top of a hill, that’s completely unrealistic, and besides, hills cause their own set of problems. But, if you can make sure that there’s a bit of a slope leading away from your foundation, you’re setting yourself up for success. This helps take care of some of flow issues before the home is even built, making pooling more difficult and thus keeping your foundation safer year-round.
Get Your Slope on
If your home wasn’t built in a way that naturally included sloping away from the foundation, never fear. There are still ways to reap the benefits of this kind of sloping. You can do some of this grading with landscaping. Ensuring a slope away from (and not toward! Ever! Please!) your home, means runoff water will flow away from your home, rather than seeping into your foundation, or pooling up which can cause rapid and sustained damage.
And keep an eye on the landscaping others do! Believe it or not, your neighbors’ decisions can impact the safety of your foundation, too. If you make any changes to your landscape, note what they are and when they were made, then make sure to keep an eye on the areas around your home’s foundation the next time you get a good storm. If you suddenly see pooling where you hadn’t before, you might want to reconsider the landscaping choices you made. If your neighbors change their landscaping or alter their drainage system, you will want to pay attention to pooling after these things occur, too. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do short of having a conversation with a neighbor if you suddenly notice impact on your foundation that wasn’t there before, but it will prepare you with knowledge of what happens for future storms and heavy precipitation. You’ll also want to check if a construction crew has been working in your neighborhood, whether it’s cable work underground or messing with the sewer system on your block. All of these things can impact your foundation, especially if any of these changes impact your property’s drainage.
Water Your Foundation
We know, we know, we’ve spent most of this article telling you to keep water away from your foundation, so what the heck are we doing telling you to literally water the thing? Well, the Colorado climate is very dry at times, and in the Summer, this dryness can cause your foundation to shift just a little. Watering your foundation when rain is hard to come by reduces the risk of drying and shrinkage, which can cause just as many problems as too much water causing expansion.
How to protect your home’s foundation is often a multi-step process that requires some diligence, but doesn’t have to be a full-time job. If you have a checklist at the ready for whatever time of year you’re facing, and know to check that list once or twice a season, you should have your bases covered, and be well on your way to keeping your foundation safe from cracks and damage for a long time.