When you become an owner of a home, foundation maintenance cannot be ignored. If you end up with a foundation crack or other damage, the repair cost will likely be very high. About $12.5 billion are spent on foundation repairs every year.
Foundation issues can often be prevented. Usually, a lack of preventative maintenance causes most issues. Here are some of the foundation maintenance tasks you can take on to ensure you don’t end up with a massive repair bill.
1. Annual Foundation Inspections
Having your foundation inspected every year is one of the easiest ways you can prevent damage. You can learn how to do it yourself or hire a professional to come out and do an inspection. Either way, taking the time to look at your foundation will help you to see if there is an issue.
It’s a good idea to check around your foundation after a big rainstorm, as well. You will be able to see if the water is pooling in specific areas where drainage may not be great.
2. Compact Backfill Areas
When a home is built, backfill areas are created to allow water to drain away from the foundation. These areas are usually filled with loose soil and created with a slope away from the foundation.
Over time, the soil may flatten leading to ponding around the foundation. Homeowners should use a heavy piece of wood to tamp down the backfill areas. Adding more soil may be necessary to maintain the proper slope.
3. Annual Inspection of Other Concrete Structures
Patios, driveways, and sidewalks can act as a barrier to help protect the foundation. However, they can also cause foundation damage, if they become cracked or damaged from moisture.
Every year, you should inspect these structures and look for cracks, pooling of water, and other potential issues. This is most important during the first five years of owning a new home since the foundation will adjust the most during this time.
4. Make Sure Gutters and Downspouts Work Properly
Usually, you need to clean the gutters at least twice a year; once before the winter season and once in the spring. Clean gutters and downspouts will work together to move water from the roof away from your home. They are a great defense system for your home.
However, if your gutters or downspouts become clogged, you could end up with a very big issue. Clogged gutters lead to the pooling of water on the roof, which can lead to major issues. Downspouts can also become clogged causing even bigger issues.
Along with clogging, gutters and downspouts not installed correctly may cause water to pool in specific areas around your foundation. Make sure the downspouts are installed with the proper slope so water moves away from the foundation and doesn’t come back
There are many things you should pay attention to when it comes to foundation maintenance. A proper inspection each year will go a long way to ensure you don’t end up with a huge repair bill.
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