Protecting Your Home and Foundation in Hot, Dry, Texas Weather

Friday, August 10, 2018

We are all familiar with Texas heat! Finding ways to keep cool without blasting the air conditioner can be a challenge at times, but have you thought about what is happening outside of your home? Summer weather can cause damage to your home’s foundation unless you take time for proper maintenance. Soil can act like a sponge, shrinking and expanding when wet. This activity can cause your foundation to move. A controlled watering program is the best way to ensure a healthier foundation.

Here are some helpful tips to avoid the huge expense of foundation repair:

For the best drainage, your yard should slope away from the house and landscape borders. Be sure your gutters can handle the runoff for the roof and keep them clear of leaves and debris. Downspouts that discharge water from the gutters by at least 3 feet from the house are best.

Hopefully watering can supplement rainfall, but in Texas, the rainfall is not always as plentiful as we need it to be. Automatic sprinklers or a sprinkler head that fastens to your garden hose will help. Keep a check on how much you water each section and use soaker hoses near the foundation, usually placed about 12 inches from the foundation base.

Shrubs, flowers, and trees need special attention during dry, hot weather. Trees take water through their roots every day year-round, but in extremely dry periods they need to be watered. It goes without saying that you need to water more during hot, dry weather. It might be surprising to know that one large tree can take as much as 150 gallons of water from the soil each day. Barriers can be installed to keep roots from growing under the foundation if the trees are too close to the house.

If hot dry weather persists, watering the foundation should be daily, supplying enough water under the foundation to be consistent. According to Texas A&M AgriLife, watering your foundation is the most effective way to protect it from damage during a drought. They recommend creating an irrigation zone around the house of about eight to 18 inches from the foundation. A drip irrigation or a soaker hose set up at an outdoor faucet with a timer to water the foundation at optimal times of day is also helpful.

As a homeowner, it’s up to you to decide to water more during hot, dry weather. It may mean a higher water bill, but in the long run, it’s well worth it.

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