Contact Information:

P.O. Box 34897

San Antonio, TX 78265-4897

Email address: mcouch@couchengineering.com

Telephone: (210) 844-7754

Prevention

Once a foundation is in place on the soils of South and Central Texas, it is subject to all the climate conditions and the resulting variations that can result. While there is no “magic bullet” once a foundation is set down, there are three things that homeowners can do to reduce the likelihood that there will be problems down the road. It is important to stress here, these are measures that will reduce the likelihood, they are not guaranteed to prevent problems.

These measures are directed at the control of water. The majority of soils in South and Central Texas are clays that react with water to varying degrees. When water is added to these soils, the result is not just mud, the clays actually attract and hold the water, and water being incompressible, they will lift a foundation. Conversely, if the soils become dry, they will allow a foundation to sink. The name of the game is consistency.

  • 1. Prevent accumulations of water adjacent to your foundation. The ground adjacent to a foundation should slope down away from the foundation a minimum of 1-inch of fall for every foot traveled from the foundation, for a total of 5-feet. At a distance 5-feet from the foundation, the ground should be 5-inches lower.
  • 2. Water your foundation. Purchase soaker hoses to ring your foundation, place then right up against your foundation. Water your foundation for 2-3 hours every other night during the summer or dry periods, and 2-3 hours twice a week during winter or wet periods.
  • 3. Monitor your water bill. While this will not provide good insight into your sanitary lines, it will give you some warning if there is a leak in your supply lines.

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