Preventative Maintenance is Key

You may think your winter blues will go away after the sun melts off all the snow, but homeowners may find their problems are about to get bigger.

The water runoff can seep through all of those cracks nature caused last summer during the drought. That water may find cracks in basement walls and leave many basements flooded.

“Do not put it off. It will not repair itself,” “It will get worse. It won’t go away.”

Here are some tips to keep foundation problems at bay:

  • Make sure gutters are clear of debris so water can drain through a downspout
  • Make sure downspouts drain at least 10 feet away from the house
  • Make sure sump pump drains at least 10 feet away from the house
  • Get a professional to install underground pipes to drain water away from the house
  • Have a foundation repair specialist come and repairs all cracks
  • Move trees at least 15 feet away from the house

The problem with trees

There are many advantages to having a tree on your property. It adds visual appeal, can increase the value of your home, provide much needed shading in the hot summer months, even savings in your home cooling bills in the summer due to that shading, but did you know that these gorgeous trees can also cause problems to your foundation?

While tree roots may not seem dangerous, they can put incredible pressure on the foundation of your home, causing cracks or movement. For these reasons, you want to be sure to watch the growth of existing trees and pay attention to new tree planting around your home. The roots from very large trees that have been planted too close to your home can push up against the foundation and cause problems such as:

  • During times when there is not a lot of moisture/rain, roots can deplete the soil moisture under the foundation which can cause the home to settle unevenly due to dry and unstable soil.
  • Cracks in your foundation
  • As tree roots increase in diameter, they wedge themselves between the basement wall and the surrounding soil, creating more pressure with each passing year. The pressure they can exert, especially in conjunction with the expansion and contraction of frost heave, can crack basement walls.

Planting new trees? Here are some steps you can take to avoid future foundation problems:

  • Research the type of tree you plan on planting. Some trees are safer than others. Some have very complex root systems. Be sure that you ask questions before purchasing your tree.
  • Roots can travel very far and can grow very large (sometimes 3 times the height of the tree!), so be sure that the tree is planted far from your foundation. Again, it is best to consult with an expert before planting.
  • If the tree on your property is an existing tree, make sure that you keep it pruned. This will keep it at a safe height and keep its root system under control.

Problems with your foundations and tree roots is something that is 100% avoidable. By planting your tree mindfully, and keeping a watchful eye on existing trees, you can keep your foundation in tip-top condition and the value of your home intact.

“Due Diligence” Inspect Your Foundation

Proper care of your foundation is very important in preserving the integrity of the structure.  Soils have the ability to expand (when wet) at alarming rates.  This requires that an even and relatively constant level of moisture be maintained in the soil supporting the foundation.   Defects in foundations occur when the supporting soil is too wet or too dry or when one area around the foundation is overly wet, while other areas remain dry.  Improper foundation maintenance can result in severe movement in just a few days.  This is true regardless of the type or age of the foundation.  To avoid additional problems, you must avoid non-uniform moisture content in the soil supporting the foundation.  Non-uniform moisture content can be caused by any of the following:

  • Improper drainage
  • Allowing the soil to become dry
  • Excess watering near the foundation
  • Plumbing leaks
  • An improper watering program
  • Neglect
  • Runoff water not properly diverted away from the foundation/eavestroughing
  • Improper grading of soil away from the foundation
  • Trees and large bushes growing too close to the foundation
  • Improper interior sealing of the foundation

Your Basement Renovated with a New Style

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Basement Renovation Services

Mr. Foundation will take care of your basement renovation from start to finish.  We will not only take care of your exterior foundation needs but will also give you a finished beautiful living area for many years of enjoyment.

Great Living and Playing Basement Areas

CFRA Ask the experts

Patrick LeCours will be on CFRA Ask the Experts April 16th @ 2:00.  Please call in with any foundation questions you may have. 613-521-talk(8255)

Ottawa Home and Garden Show

Please come visit us at the Home Show March 24th to 27th. Booth # 2118

Patrick LeCours, the foundation Expert will be there to answer any foundation questions you may have.

FORTRESS Stabilization Systems

Designed and used for bowed foundation walls and poured concrete cracks. Due to high strength to weight ratio, carbon-fiber reinforcement is used in bowed basement walls, bridge columns, and concrete beams to restore structural integrity.

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