A Strong Foundation, A Strong Home
We’ve all heard the term “strong foundation”. Beyond its reference to actual structures, it’s used as a metaphor for various life concepts. No matter the meaning, a strong foundation represents stability. When it comes to your home, a strong foundation is vital to its safety and longevity. Without it, your home’s integrity can be greatly compromised. What causes a faulty foundation? The most common cause is changes in soil condition around your home, generally as a result of added moisture. Moisture buildup can lead to problems, such as cracks in walls and misaligned doors, doorways, and floors. However, there are steps you can take to maintain the strength of your foundation and prevent problems from occurring. Below are a few: * Repair cracks. Small cracks occur in the foundation of a home over time. However, it is important to check for any such cracks and respond to them appropriately. Minor cracks should be cleaned out and filled in with a material specifically made to repair cracks in concrete, such as an epoxy glue. Major cracks, of course, require professional treatment. * Check your gutters. Gutters are a main source of added moisture to the soil surrounding your home’s foundation. If placed improperly the added moisture can cause heaving of the foundation. As a general rule of thumb: if your foundation is built in sandy soil, your gutter’s downspout should drain five feet from the foundation; if built in expansive soil, the downspout should be placed ten feet away from your home’s foundation. * Check for puddles. After rainstorms it is very important to make sure that no water is puddling around your foundation. If puddling occurs, you should install some kind of drainage. Solutions to these problems can include adding moisture barriers, French drains, or swales. The best solution should be determined by a professional, who can evaluate your needs most effectively. * Control erosion. Added moisture can also cause erosion, which compromises the stability of your foundation. Erosion control can be achieved by using grass, shrubbery, or other ground covers like rocks, concrete pavers, or liners. * Repair leaking pipes. Your home’s plumbing system can also be a major cause for increased moisture around your foundation. Routinely check your plumbing system, sewer lines, and any sprinkler systems you may have for leaks and fix them immediately. These are just some of the ways you can ensure the strength of your home’s foundation. If you notice any signs that your foundation may be compromised, contact a professional immediately. Though you might be able to find the problem it is always best to choose a professional to correctly provide your home’s foundation with the proper solution. If left unfixed a minor issue can potentially grow into a major problem and ultimately undermine the integrity of your entire home. Barry Antonelli, the Founder and President of Ameri-Dry ® Systems ( www.ameri-dry.com), is a waterproofing expert who has dedicated three decades of his life to solving all types of basement, crawlspace, and foundation water problems. He began his career in 1978, a time when aggressive companies and pushy salesmen were the norm, but quickly changed the face of the industry by instituting programs to empower the customer, including the industry's first Customer Relations Division; an independent Customer Service Department; and the industry's first Lifetime Warranty Program. By the mid-1990s, Antonelli's company was waterproofing over 1,000 homes and structures every year, while still offering a Full Life-of-the-Structure Warranty. His commitment to customer service and to developing innovative techniques for solving wet basement, wet crawlspace, and foundation problems continues. Mr. Antonelli can be reached at Contact ». Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/AmeriDry).