Many areas throughout the US have expansive soil, or soil with heavy clay content. Expansive soil swells when wet, and shrinks excessively when dry. When the soil shrinks, it often causes large cracks and crevices to appear. The expansion and contraction of the soil is often the cause for a gap forming between the soil and a foundation of a home.
In the summer months it’s especially important to pay close attention to your yard, and not just for curb-appeal purposes. If the soil in your yard is excessively dry and full of cracks, this could mean cracks could form in your foundation too. Cracks in the soil can allow your foundation to sink and settle. When settling occurs too quickly, or unevenly, it can wreak havoc on your home’s foundation.
As soon as you begin to notice a gap forming between the soil and your foundation, be sure to take a look for any visible foundation damages. If you’re not able to see any damages, the best next step is to begin watering your yard.
Watering your yard for about 20-30 minutes per day will help slowly introduce moisture back into the soil. If the soil gets too wet too quickly, swelling can occur. Therefore, it’s important to slowly add water back into the soil instead of drenching it. To do so you can use a soaker hose, which is a drip-irrigation system often used by gardeners. A soaker hose has tiny holes or “pores” throughout the hose. Using a soaker hose not only reduces evaporation of the water, but also uses less water than a conventional sprinkler.
Your grass and landscaping plants can tell you a lot about the condition of the soil too. If you find that you’re watering your plants more often than usual, it might be a good idea to water your grass every now and then too. In areas of excessively dry conditions, consider adding a sprinkler system to your yard. Keeping your lawn looking nice and healthy can go a long way with keeping your foundation in good condition too.
Should you notice any cracks or signs of foundation movement, contact us as soon as possible. We’ll help you get in touch with the right local professionals for the job!