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DRY SEASON: Taking Care of your Foundation

We can’t stop the rain season from coming, any more than we can stop the dry season either. But the one thing we can do is prepare for it. Much like we’ve talked about how the rain season might affect your house and foundation, and for that matter what to do to be prepared for it, today we will address the issue of the dry season, and how it too can potentially bring about damage to your property.

While it is quite possible that at first the effects of drought are not immediately noticeable, it is quite possible that they are already taking place through the entire dry season. Generally, homeowners worry the most about water damage, however drought damage can be just as bad; especially when they are combined. While too much water on the soil will cause it to expand, drought will cause the soil to shrink and crack. This movement and its cyclical repetition will wreak havoc on the foundation.

Some of the telltale signs that this is happening are uneven floors, chimneys and porches leaning away from the home, doors and windows not fitting properly into their frames, gaps between ceiling, floors or walls, bowing walls or cracks and even broken pipes. If any of these signs are starting to show you should take action immediately. The thing about this is that the problems are already appearing and whatever actions taken are to remedy the situation. So as a matter of fact it would be most advisable to start acting before any of these issues start taking place. While we have talked about actions and services that can help look after the foundation during the rain season, we will talk about the actions that can help prevent the damage from happening during the dry season. Granted, the actions might be far and between, but they will definitely help to look after the foundation.

The first thing to take into account is that large trees shouldn’t be all that close to the foundation; given their large root systems they will compete for water during long dry periods, which will accelerate the drying of the soil, casing it to contract and crack even faster than usual.

Having said that, there is no better way to avoid drought foundation damage than to keeping the soil around your home sufficiently hydrated. This can be done by watering the lawn and garden. Obviously some local governments might place restrictions regarding the amount of liquid that can be used to water, that is why the best, and also most effective way to water your lawn is by doing it gently throughout the day. And the best tool to achieve this is by running a soaker hose across the lawn, a few feet away from the foundation. This will allow the water to thoroughly soak into the soil, without flooding it.

Now, a balance is needed to be struck, between not watering enough and overwatering, which will also cause foundation issues. I know, it is not easy, right? Fortunately there are very handy tools available (and at great prices too!) that can help out with this dilema. A soul moisture meter can be found pretty much everywhere and it is quite inexpensive. Simply insert the probe into the soul at a depth of 6 to 8 inches, and repeat every few yards in order to get a good average. A 30%-60% humidity range is recommended. You can use this measurements to calculate how often and for how long you will need to leave the soaker hose on. At first it is going to be a bit of trail and error, but soon you’ll get the calculation right. There are even some soaker hoses that can be programed with the times and durations desired for it to be working. Some even work with meteorological satellite data, to make things even easier!

There is one other thing that you can try that will definitely make a difference is mulching. Mulch is a layer of organic matter applied on top of the soil. While there are other benefits to mulching like controlling weeds and erosion, keeping nutrients and controlling pest (not to mention being really appealing for landscaping) them main thing si that it has a great capacity to retain moisture which will certainly help in the long run, specially when working alongside a soaker hose.

These are all protective measures that you can take to help looking after the foundation during the dry seasons. However if any sign of damage is already visible you should act without delay. We will always be ready and available for you and your home, but we can also guarantee that following these simple measures will definitely make a difference. To your home and subsequently, to your pocket as well.


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