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Foundation Maintenance 101: Ensuring Proper Drainage and Soil Levels

Proper maintenance of your home’s foundation is crucial to prevent issues caused by water and soil-related problems. In this blog post, we’ll dive into steps you can take to ensure efficient drainage and maintain the right soil levels.

Proper foundation maintenance involves ensuring good drainage and appropriate soil levels around your home.

Water should always flow away from the house, avoiding ponding within 6 feet of the slab, and soil levels should be maintained at 4 to 6 inches below the top of the foundation or brick ledge. Avoid both excessive soil height, which can lead to water and insects entering the home, and excessively low soil, which can cause rapid dehydration of the supporting soil.

What’s the right slope for good drainage?

It is recommended having a slope of 1/2 inch for every 1 foot of length away from the foundation. This slope should extend 6 feet away from your home if possible. To achieve this slope, you might need to create swales, which are wide, gentle depressions designed to guide water away. Keep in mind that the exact recommendations can vary depending on your specific site conditions.

Gutters can be helpful if you have slow drainage or erosion from roof runoff.

It’s important that gutter down- spouts channel water away from the foundation and don’t let it pool at the discharge point. If necessary, use extended downspouts to control water flow. To prevent erosion from downspout discharge, use splash blocks under the downspout discharge locations. Also be aware that garden edging and fences can sometimes block water flow, so address these issues and install outlets or drains as needed.

All these efforts contribute to controlling excessive moisture.

Remember, excessive moisture makes clay-based soils expand, swell and uplift. Once the soil around the home is contoured and shaped to provide good drainage, then preventing excessive dehydration becomes the goal.

Protecting your home’s foundation from excessive moisture and dehydration is essential for its longevity. By following the right slope guidelines for good drainage, managing your gutters, and addressing any obstacles that hinder water flow, you can help preserve the structural integrity of your home so that it’s safe and stable.


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