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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.