You probably know that your home’s or business’s foundation is the basis of the building’s structural integrity. But, do you know how to best protect your home’s foundation against damage? From top to bottom, Burbach Exteriors has some recommendations for taking care of a building’s foundation to prevent settling, cracking, and leaking.
A good start to caring for your home’s foundation is to look up. There should be rain gutters around the perimeter of your roof, and they should be free of debris while directing precipitation away from the foundation.
You can prevent buildup and clogs in your rain gutters with guards and strainers. These will allow water and snowmelt to filter into the gutters while deterring leaves, birds, and bugs from doing the same.
Whether or not you have gutter guards, Burbach’s experts can install and clean residential or commercial rain gutters. Our team can ensure you choose materials that will hold up to your climate and complement your architecture. We’ll also ensure downspouts are appropriately placed to direct water flow away from the foundation so there’s no flooding at the base of your structure.
Continue scanning the exterior of your home and notice what type of foliage is close to your siding. Are there trees overhanging your roof, or rubbing up against exterior walls? How close is vegetation to the perimeter of your structure?
If vines or branches are crowding your home, it can increase moisture buildup and cause premature damage to materials. Additionally, the roots of trees or bushes planted too close to the house can disrupt the foundation’s integrity, causing cracks or settling. Consider cutting back overhanging branches, training vines on trellises instead of siding, and removing any vegetation that’s threatening your foundation.
The visual inspection of your home should also include taking in the condition of the siding. Whether it’s brick, stucco, vinyl, or wood, you need to be on the lookout for damage. If water is able to get through the siding barrier, it will most likely make its way to the foundation and result in seeping basement walls or puddles on the basement floor.
While you’re checking out the siding materials of your home for cracks or holes, measure the distance between the siding and the bottom of the foundation. Experts recommend having at least six inches between the bottom of the foundation and the start of your siding. This space should be free from dirt, vegetation, or decoration to present moisture buildup or penetration.
Let your gaze move down to the ground around your structure. Ideally, your yard slopes away from the home to encourage runoff to move away from the foundation. If you consistently see standing water at the base of your home or business, you’ll want to make arrangements to better direct rain or sprinkler runoff and drain it. Yard grading is just as important as ensuring vegetation isn’t growing too close to your home or business.
Ideally, your slope should be six inches for every ten feet of distance away from the structure. This could also be measured as a minimum slope of 2% as the yard moves away from the house.
Other Tips for Caring for Your Foundation
Besides routine visual inspections, cleaning your rain gutters, and clearing debris from around your foundation, how else can you care for it?
Wiping away grime from your home’s foundation can make it less susceptible to cracking. You can dry brush the foundation with a stiff brush, or use vinegar and water to tackle stains or dirt.
It may seem counterintuitive, but during dry spells you might need to water your foundation. If a foundation gets uncharacteristically dry, the materials can shrink, which can cause the structure above to shift.
Install a Sump Pump
Sometimes you need a little extra help to keep excessive moisture away from your home. Install a sump pump in a window well, driveway dry well, or a crawlspace to help redirect water away from your home’s foundation. Sump pumps only turn on when the float is triggered by pooling water, so they’re a great tool for keeping spaces dry without running nonstop.
CONTACT BURBACH COMPANIES TODAY
If Burbach Companies can help with a remodel or new build design that will protect your foundation for years to come, give us a call today.