The biggest challenge in maintaining a healthy foundation is to sustain a consistent moisture level around your home. With very few exceptions, the lack of sufficient watering is the most common problem for homeowners. In order to stabilize the moisture levels of your soil and, consequently the movement of your foundation, a controlled watering program should be the first course of action. Remember, consistent moisture under and around the foundation is the goal.
The most effective and efficient method to keep moisture levels consistent around your foundation is to have a drip-linesystem installed. These systems come with various performance capabilities and range in cost from self-installed units to high-tech automated computerized systems.
Other viable options are available such as automated sprinkler systems and soaker hoses. Whichever method you choose, there are a few general guidelines you should follow.
In periods of hot, dry weather conditions, it is best to add water about three times per week to insure that the appliedwater has time to soak into the soil. In cooler weather, you can reduce watering to once or twice a week.
Do not to allow cracking of you soil to occur within four or five feet or your foundation. If a gap should appear between the soil and the foundation edge, water frequently (at least daily) around the entire foundation during extended dry periods.
While using a soaker hose is the least effective of the recommended solutions, it’s better than nothing. The soaker hose should be placed 6 to 18 inches away from the foundation. Do not place the hose against the foundation. Placing the hose a short distance from the foundation allows the water to soak into the soil without dislodging/dissolving any of the soil supporting the foundation. If possible, use a battery operated programmable timer which will eliminate the human error factor.
One of the drawbacks of this method is the suns UV rays can, over time, deteriorate the petroleum based skin of the hose which can lead to uneven water distribution and exacerbate foundation issues.