The WCK Foundation Repair Blog

Troubleshooting Yard Drainage Problems In Baton Rouge

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Jul 25, 2017 12:32:13 PM

water in yard.jpegSummertime in south Louisiana means frequent rain and a recurring threat of tropical weather. This means that your yard’s drainage will be put to the test on a regular basis. This is important to your home’s foundation because drainage problems can affect the density of the soil around your home, which can lead to foundation damage. The normal amount of water activity in the ground shouldn’t pose a threat to your foundation, but prolonged periods of saturation, followed by dry spells could mean a different story. That is why troubleshooting yard drainage problems in Baton Rouge could prevent larger problems down the road.

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Identify your drainage problem

When you see standing water in your yard, you know you have a problem. But, that doesn’t mean the water itself is the problem. The water is merely the symptom. The real issue is that the water has no place to go. So, identifying your drainage problem really means finding out why the water isn’t moving towards a ditch, sewer, or in some way, away from the house.

Plan a drainage solution before implementing it

There are many options that can help your yard drain properly. But, the best option varies from situation to situation. Because of this, you want to consider which drainage option is best suited for your situation. You will want to consider the shortest path to get the water from point A to point B. you will want to take into consideration anything blocking the water’s path; be it a tree, gazebo, or any other permanent or semi-permanent structure in your yard. The last thing you want to do is start tearing up your yard to install better drainage, only to find out it has to be rerouted.

Install your drainage as soon as possible

Whether the problem can be solved by simply extending the downspouts on your gutters, or if you need to dig a pipe or French drain system, you don’t want to procrastinate. Some people think that the yard needs to be completely dry before getting to work, but that is not so; and for many reasons. First and foremost, the problem only gets worse the longer your house is exposed to it. Also, you want to be able to test your work sooner rather than later to find out if it is effective. Naturally, you don’t want your yard to be so saturated that it leads to sloppy work, but considering the summer forecasts in Louisiana, you know that if you put it off for too long, it’s just going to rain again before long.

Once your drainage problem has been solved, monitor the effects. Is it actually moving the water away from your home? Are you finding the ground closest to your house to be less squishy? If so, you have likely averted a much more drastic problem. If you have any questions about how drainage can affect your foundation, please contact our team of experts at WCK Foundation Repair and we will be happy to answer them for you.

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Topics: drainage

Can Removing A Tree Affect My Baton Rouge Foundation

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Jan 13, 2017 2:54:00 PM

tree removal.jpegBaton Rouge and the surrounding area are home to some of the most picturesque landscapes one can find. We have foliage that is as beautiful as it is varied. And, it’s not just the grounds that are beautiful; our trees can be breathtaking as well. From the tall water oaks, to the sprawling live oaks, or the laid back serenity of a bald cypress, our trees can make the wind whistle and make time seem like it’s slowing down.

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 But, when you are a home owner, some of the most gorgeous trees around can be seen as a threat to your home. Every hurricane season we are reminded of the possibility of trees being toppled. Plus, there is the danger of a tree’s root system growing out to the point where it can damage a driveway from the bottom up, or worse, do the same to your home’s foundation. This naturally gets homeowners thinking about having a tree removed if they feel it poses a threat to their house. But will this solve the problem, or simply open up the possibility of new problems? In other words, can removing a tree affect my Baton Rouge Foundation?

Surprisingly enough, it actually can. But, by taking a few simple precautions, you can help minimize the possibility of that happening.

Replace the soil

This may seem like common sense, but after removing the tree and stump, you don’t want to leave a hole in your yard. Some people will just refill the whole with dirt or topsoil until it is level with the yard and then plant grass seed and think they’re done. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Because of the expansive root systems of most trees, there will be sinking that goes on for some time after the tree is removed because as what’s left of the roots decompose, there will be many smaller voids left behind. If the tree was close enough to your house and you weren’t protected with a root guard, this can cause further settling under your foundation. When you replace the soil, you want to refill the hole until there is a mound about a foot taller than the rest of the yard. As you refill the hole, you should pack the soil down, and even water it. This will help it settle where it needs to be faster.

When it comes to planting grass after the hole has been filled, you may want to consider waiting until the ground has settled a bit. Otherwise, you may end up having to continually refill the hole over the grass you have planted.

Making drainage improvements

While the void in the ground may cause some short term settling and sagging, the more likely way having a tree removed can affect your home is with future drainage. First of all, trees absorb a lot of water. Removing a tree means your yard will reach its saturation point sooner. This could mean standing water hangs around longer after a rain storm. It also means that the soil under your home will expand, contract, and generally shift more with inclement weather. The best way to avoid this is to improve the drainage in your yard to help avoid oversaturation.

While the trees in our yards provide shade, curb some of Louisiana’s heat, and are beautiful to look at; when it is time to have one removed, you want to make sure you aren’t creating new problems while eliminating old ones. If you have had a tree removed, and think that the hole that was left behind has affected your home’s foundation, please call our team at WCK Foundation Repair and we will be happy to come give it a look.

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Topics: drainage

Residential Drainage Tips for Baton Rouge Homeowners

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Feb 12, 2016 10:48:58 AM

Dollarphotoclub_88320377-1.jpgDo you ever step out into your yard and based on your damp sock realize that you’ve found a puddle?  It can be expected after a fresh rain, but having standing water and a wet lawn days after a storm can point directly to a drainage problem.  Unfortunately drainage issues around your home can spell trouble for much more than your socks. 

Our south Louisiana homes are built on a unique, expansive, clay-laden soil.  This soil type expands as it gets wet and retracts during dry spells.  This constant movement can wreak havoc on your home’s foundation.  However, like most problems, the drainage in your yard can be corrected and the potential damage to your foundation can be avoided.  Here are some simple tips for maintaining the drainage around home.

  • Divert Excess Water: This is the essential goal of drainage. Water of course serves a very important role to your lawn and landscaping.  However too much can be just as damaging as too little.  Diverting the excess away from your home and off of your lawn is the most important objective.  This can be done through a number of ways. 
    • Gutters
    • Down Spouts
    • Catch Basins
    • French Drains
  • Changing Your Topography: Low lying spots in your yard can be problematic by nature. These areas will collect and hold water and prevent it from expeditiously moving away from your home.  Creating swales and planting water thirsty plants can help divert water and soak it up; maintaining your soil’s moisture content. 

These of course are only a few ideas and basic fundamentals of yard drainage.  Some of these can be done in a few hours, others can be a week project, while others still could require some expert help.  When it comes to the safety and value of your home, investing in quality drainage can save you some serious money, time and headaches down the road.  Also if you’ve had your foundation repaired or think you may need your foundation inspected, taking care of any drainage issues is a top priority.  Fixing your foundation without addressing drainage is like having dental work done and then not brushing your teeth. 

For over 30 years WCK Foundation Repair has been helping south Louisiana home and business owners.  Now, in addition to providing the only proven method to repair foundations built upon our unique soil; they are now using their expertise to offer drainage work.  So whether your foundation is damaged, or you want to prevent that from happening, trust the local experts.

 

7 Signs of Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge

Topics: drainage

Ponchatoula Foundation Damage: 5 Drainage Problem Signs

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Dec 21, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Dollarphotoclub_97466340.jpgJust about every problem has signs or symptoms.  If you go to start your car and you only hear a “click”, you probably have a dead battery.  You can even look a little closer and you may find smaller clues that point to what caused the larger problem.  If your headlights were left on overnight, that would have killed the battery and put you in your current predicament.  The same is true for your Ponchatoula home.  If you have recently discovered that you have foundation damage, the root cause could be a drainage issue.  But what are some of those signs that can signal that you have drainage problems?  We’re glad you asked.  Below are 5 signs that your home has drainage problems.  Recognizing and identifying these issues before they impact other areas of your home from your roof to your foundation can save you a lot of time and money.  If you notice any of these it may be time to also take a closer look at your foundation.

  • Keep an eye on your landscaping: An easy to spot sign of soil not draining properly is that precipitation will flow away in sheets, carrying mulch and other elements of your landscaping along with it.  This can be remedied fairly easily by manipulating the ground around your landscaping.  Building a swale (small, shallow ditch) or berm (mound) can redirect rain away from your foundation and channel it without allowing your mulch to tag along.
  • Check for cracks in your foundation: This can be an obvious sign of foundation damage.  But repairing the cracks without addressing the cause can be a waste of time and money.  Pay special attention to cracks that are larger than 1/8 of an inch.  If you notice these areas growing, you may have a significant problem.  Growing cracks indicate foundation distress and likely an underlying drainage problem.
  • Uncontrolled downspouts: The amount of rain that your roof and gutters collects has to go somewhere, and if your downspouts don’t channel it away from your home then it will go straight into the soil adjacent to your foundation.  This can cause massive problems as it will both wash away soil that is supporting the concrete and also saturate the expansive, clay-laden soils that our homes in south Louisiana are built upon.  Adding extensions to channel precipitation away is an easy solution to this problem.
  • Take a look in your attic: While investing drainage problems in the attic may seem backwards, the clues you find there can give you a great deal of insight to what is happening on the ground.  If you have a home with a crawl space, moisture could be building up from poor drainage.  This moisture will rise to the top of the home and condense on the underside of the roof.  This condensation can create mold and mildew.  What better vantage point than the attic?  Checking out your attic can not only alert you to potential foundation problems, but can also prevent you from having to replace your roof as well.
  • Overflowing gutters: With all of our beautiful oak trees and other foliage around our homes, it doesn’t take long for leaves, sticks and other debris to fill your gutters.  As water flows off of your roof and falls from the sky, it will have no place to go other than over the sides of the gutters.  Just like the above mentioned problems with downspouts, the water will fall and collect along your foundation problems.  Taking a seasonal look at your gutters, or more often if your notice other problems, can drastically improve your homes drainage, preventing potential foundation problems.

While these are only few signs of possible drainage problems, recognizing these and other signs of foundation damage can save you a lot of time and money.  When choosing a foundation repair company it is important to select a local, trusted and experienced company that understands our unique soil conditions and that offers a proven, effective method of repair.  For over 30 years WCK Foundation Repair has repaired and restored foundations for homes across Tangipahoa Parish and south Louisiana.  Click here for more information about foundation repair

7 Signs of Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge

Topics: drainage

Hammond Foundation Repair: 4 Drainage Tips

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Jun 29, 2015 10:08:07 AM

Hammond Foundation Repair: 4 Drainage Tips It can be sunny all day. Hot, humid and bright. Then, out of nowhere the dark skies roll in and within minutes, you are in the middle of a massive downpour. These random summer showers that are sparked off during the hottest part of the day are a staple of south Louisiana. On the flipside, it is not uncommon to go 5, 6, 7 or more days without a chance to dry out. Both of these climatological characteristics that steam and flood our yards can have damaging effects on our Hammond home’s foundations.

The trick is to keep your soil in equilibrium. Both of these types of summertime rain patterns make this a challenge. Soil that is too dry can recede from the foundation walls, creating less support. Dry soil can also be washed away when it does rain. Soil that is oversaturated from a deluge of rain will expand and create pressure against the concrete walls. A pattern of dry and wet weather can actually cause the soil to expand and contract, creating a pulsing effect, forcing against the foundation, creating damage. Controlling the water that falls from the sky and rests in your yard is critical to the health of your foundation. Here are 4 drainage tips for the health of your foundation.

  1. Trees: The trees in your yard and around your home draw moisture from the soil. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recommends that a tree be planted no closer to your home than its eventual height. Not only can they remove essential moisture from the soil supporting your foundation, but large tree roots can expand and impact the foundation walls, causing damage.
  2. Surface Drainage: It is key that the surface water near your home is controlled. Puddling and pooling water near the foundation will inundate the clay-laden soil near your home forcing it to expand. The ground surface should slope away from the structure at between ½ and 1 inch per foot for at least 6 feet, to carry water away.
  3. Drainage Boards: If you have particularly wet areas around your home, installing “drainage boards” may be a good idea. These boards allow water to quickly drain to a perimeter drain. This prevents the buildup of hydrostatic pressure near the foundation.
  4. Gutters: This is an obvious one, but one that is often not thought of when it comes to foundation damage. Gutters should be clean and clear to prevent precipitation from spilling over the sides. Also downspouts should channel water away from your home by at least 10 feet. Catch basins or rain barrels are also helpful if the water can’t be carried this far away.

These are just a few tips of how you can keep the rain from doing more damage than good. Our unique landscape and soil content make our foundations especially vulnerable. For over 30 years WCK Foundation Repair has been meeting these challenges and helping homeowners restore their home’s safety and value. With the only proven method, the drilled pier method, WCK fully repairs foundations and backs their work with a fully transferrable lifetime warranty. For more information, click here.

7 Signs of Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge

Topics: drainage

I Have a Pool of Water in My Yard. Is That Bad for My Foundation?

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Mar 12, 2015 1:35:16 PM

I Have a Pool of Water in My Yard.  Is That Bad for My Foundation?Having a body of water in your yard can be your own personal paradise just steps from home.  It can be a pool in your backyard where your kids can play.  Maybe a pond where you can fish whenever you’d like, or even a simple fountain in the courtyard can enhance the ambience of your home.  However intentionally placed water versus water that ends up in unintended places can turn a paradise into a nightmare. 

The unique soil that our south Louisiana homes are built upon is extremely susceptible to moisture and precipitation.  The clay-laden elements expand and contract with the introduction and withdrawal of water.  There are many places near your home’s foundation that can collect water after a storm or after watering the lawn; this is an indication of a place that is receiving too much moisture, thus forcing the soil to expand and press against the concrete walls of the foundation.  However if you do notice some areas in the yard where rainwater tends to collect, you can prevent potential damage to your foundation by follow these tips.

Tips to improve drainage in your Baton Rouge yard:

  • French Drains: If you only notice one problem spot, digging a deep trench to channel water away from the home can keep your foundation safe.
  • Clean Gutters: One key cause for water accumulation is clogged gutters.  When the roof’s drainage system can’t channel water away, it gets dumped over the sides of the gutters, causing pooling.
  • Dry Wells: If your yard has significant drainage issues, dry wells can come in handy.  Tubes and pipes can even be installed to carry the water that collects near the structure into these wells.
  • Curtain Drains: If you have a problem with low lying areas, curtain drains could be the remedy.  These perforated drains, covered by rocks carry water away from your home.

No matter what method works best for the layout in your yard, keeping an eye on the drainage tendencies around your home should be a regular habit.  The tropical climate and stormy summers that are a part of life in south Louisiana can wreak havoc on your home if drainage isn’t addressed.  If you have some concerns about your foundation it is important to contact a local, trusted foundation repair company.  For over 30 years, WCK Foundation Repair has utilized the ideal method for Louisiana’s unique soil, the drilled pier method, to help restore the community’s safety and value.  For more information, click here.

7 Signs of Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge

Topics: drainage

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