Even the most beautiful home of stunning building is nothing without a strong foundation to hold everything up. Soil structures, moisture, and even materials used in building the home have a lot to do with how the foundation holds up through the years. On average a 7 ½ ton foundation must carry the weight of a 50 ton home. That is a lot of weight and costs for a foundation take up between 8% and 15% of the entire build. Foundations fail for reasons such as non-porous backfills, a rushed cure, insufficient compacting, and even an interrupted pour, but there are some things that can be done to protect your foundation and prolong its life.
Watch for Changes
Foundation problems can go unnoticed for many years, but a savvy homeowner or business owner pays attention to the building and any changes to areas around the structure. Something as simple as a neighbor having landscaping done can change how your land drains. Note any changes yours and your neighbor’s land and account for any changes in your land’s ability to shed water. This will allow you to keep your foundation in mind and restructure your land for proper drainage if necessary.
Clean and Inspect Gutters and Downspouts
Gutters and downspouts are ideal for proper drainage. They collect rainwater and funnel it into an area that drains easily from the home. However, when gutters become damaged, clogged, or pull away from the roof of a building, rainwater simply falls to the ground leading to possible erosion of foundations. To avoid this, make it a regular thing to check gutters. Make sure they are clean and void of any possible clogs. It is also a good idea to check for a secure fit to the roof as screw and nails can sometimes back out causing gutters to sag.
Cut Back Trees and Shrubs
Homeowners and business owners alike enjoy adding a bit of color and flare to the outside of their structure with trees, shrubs, and flowers. Unfortunately, sometime this idea is pretty, but not actually practical for foundation longevity. Think carefully about which trees and shrubs are used close to the foundation. Trees with wide root systems can easily snake themselves into the foundation producing dangerous and unsightly cracks. A crack is water’s best friend, so always keep plants cut away from the sides of the building. Cutting away plants also allows light to get behind the plant where pooling can often take place leading to even more foundation problems.
A foundation is much more than just a flat surface your home or business rests on. It needs to be maintained properly to enhance the life of a structure as well as maintain overall value. Foundation issues can halt selling plans or cause a home to be simply unsafe, so getting these issues fixed should always be top priority. These easy to follow tips will help you understand your foundation a little better and keep it from deteriorating prematurely. Is your foundation in danger?