Avoid Foundation Repair This Summer – DIY Watering Program

Are you experiencing an extra dry summer in your area this year? If so your home’’s foundation could be at risk. Here’’s how it works – expansive soils underneath your home soak up water causing the soil to swell. In the summer, dry heat and the lack of water force the soils to shrink. This cycle causes foundation movement which can ultimately result in serious foundation problems.

Fortunately, there’’s a lot homeowners can do to alleviate seasonal foundation damage.

By implementing a simple foundation watering program, homeowners can keep the soil moisture underneath their home at a more consistent level, which will mitigate soil shrinkage.

DIY Foundation watering system using a soaker hose

The most effective way to water your foundation is to place a hose one-to-fwo feet from the edge of the foundation. This will allow the water to soak into the soil evenly. This program can be used throughout the year, but remember to water more often during the dry summer heat. It may even be necessary to water your foundation twice-daily. When watering, you should supply enough water to keep the soil underneath your foundation constant. If you’’re only keeping the surface damp then you’’re not getting the most out of your foundation watering program.

Do not place the hose directly against the foundation. Dry, cracked soil can create a travel route for the water which may disperse it several feet in many directions. This water can accumulate at the base of the grade beam and cause the soil at the base of your foundation to lose its load-bearing capacity.

Here’’s a basic plan to help get you started:

In the summer, make sure you water at least two times a day (morning & evening) for at least 20 minutes. If you are tracking mud, you’’re using too much water.

What you’’ll need:

  • Soaker Hose.
  • Vacuum Breaker
  • Timer

Here’’s how it works:

  1. Dig a trench 18″ out from the base of your home around the entire perimeter. The trench should be about 6″ deep. Work from multiple faucets to accommodate driveways, sidewalks & patios
  2. Place the soaker hose in the trench
  3. Program the timer for summer
  4. Attach the vacuum breaker to the soaker hose
  5. Attach the timer to the faucet
  6. Connect the soaker hose to the timer & turn on the faucet
Chris Cates, Olshan Subject Matter Expert

Chris Cates

Chris has been in the foundation repair industry since the late 80’s. He has 40+ years of experience designing foundation repairs plans of all types and sizes. Chris’ work and expertise has been featured in the local Houston media several times, including appearances on the CW39 News, Click 2 Houston News, ABC 13 News, The Sealy News and The Houston Business Journal. Chris’ important work in research and development, played an integral role in the development of a patented repair method (US Patent #10,428,516 B2) designed to stabilize damaged tilt walls. Chris Cates is recognized as an innovator in the industry both locally and nationally.

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