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FOUNDATION: REPAIRED How to achieve long lasting results?

Your foundation has been repaired. The ordeal is over. Your house is safe. Time to rest on your laurels. Or is it?

For long we’ve talked about foundation repair; what is it, why it is needed, what the different methods and materials are, what the process looks like, even touching upon some general tips here and there. But for the first time we want to talk to you about the aftermath. We’ve said that a good foundation repair job should last for many years, even decades. And it is true. However good practices are essential to achieve an even longer lasting results once the foundation has been repaired.

The first precaution measure that you can take is to keep on performing regular foundation inspections. This is can be done every few months, specially every time a new season/weather change sets in. You can walk around your home and look for those all-too familiar signs of damage.

Structural cracks, be it on stair steps, on walls (can be vertical, horizontal or in a stair-pattern) as well as hairline cracks wider than 1/8’’. Cracked bricks or spots might be a sign of water infiltration. 

Always monitor windows and doors; keeping ears and eyes open will help you determine if they are getting stuck, becoming difficult to open or close. Just the same way, monitor floors and walls. Unevenness, bowing and leaning can also be signs of trouble.

Monitoring the exterior is as important as monitoring the exterior, so walk around the exterior looking for war and tear such as cracks and water damage. Be on the lookout for pests as well, as their presence can accelerate deterioration on foundations, specially pier and beam, which is also quite susceptible to moisture, mold and wood rot inside the crawlspace.

The next thing to do is manage your soil moisture levels. It is crucial that the moisture level remains consistent through out the year, otherwise water saturation will cause the soil to expand while lack of water will contract the soil and all this movement will start breaking havoc on your foundation. One simple way you can keep track of your soil moisture levels is by purchasing a soil moisture meter which is incredibly un-expensive. That way you can make sure that the levels remain consistent, or if not, to take action to remedy this.

There are several ways to do this. The first one is by using effective watering techniques. During dry season you can use a soaker hose, placing it about 24 to 36 inches away from your house; this will allow the water to seep from the hose at an even and slow rate, allowing the water to soak into the ground directly, therefore preventing soil cracks that tend to appear on the dryer months, while at the same time keeping the ground from getting too moist. Besides being quite inexpensive, it also requires no maintenance and provides savings to your wallet.

In case you are using sprinklers then make sure that it spreads evenly and without forming pools of water. When the temperature is quite hot and dry, an hour should do the trick to protect the foundation. One other tool at your disposal is that you can add a timer to the hose. You can set up the exact number of minutes for reliable watering. Some even are wi-fi enabled so they can keep track of the weather conditions and reacting accordingly.

Mulching is another good method that will help you keeping humidity levels under control, not to mention that it can give quite an appealing look to your yard.

Preventing soil swelling is essential and this can be done by eliminating excess moisture. Using soaker hoses and and effective watering techniques are the first steps. Next, however, you must make sure that there are no plumbing leaks of any kind, so make sure to be on the lookout for those, and in case you happen to run across one of them, then promptly have them repaired. 

You can always make drainage improvements as well; these go from regrading your property; that is having a positive grade so that rainwater will drain away from your foundation, to downspout s and gutters, which also serve to carry water away from the foundation. This should direct the water around 8-10 feet away from the foundation and you gotta make sure that they are cleaned frequently to avoid clogging.

Next thing to take into account is vegetation control. Some trees and plants, specially those with extensive shallow roots can negatively impact the foundation, as they remove too much water from the soil causing shrinkage and shifts in the foundation. So instead, make sure to choose trees with less aggressive root systems, and to plant them a good distance away from the foundation.

In case you already have a tree in your yard and can’t remove it, a root barrier can help to keep the roots at bay from your foundation.

Regular inspections are a very good idea, with at least once every few years just to make sure to get the opinion of an expert and in case anything needs to be done, hire expert contractors for repair and maintenance.

Remember that following these strategies and hiring the ideal foundation repair company will ensure long lasting success of your foundation repair.

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