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Do You Need to Water Your Foundation? | Separating Fact from Fiction

Do You Need to Water Your Foundation?

Separating Fact from Fiction

Foundation maintenance is a topic that often sparks curiosity and concern among homeowners, and rightfully so. Your home's foundation is the bedrock upon which your property stands, and its well-being directly impacts the integrity of your entire structure. Among the questions that arise, "Do I need to water my foundation?" is a prominent one, and the answer is often a resounding yes, especially in regions like Fort Bend County, TX. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of foundation watering, debunk myths propagated by some foundation companies, and shed light on the truth behind maintaining a steadfast foundation.

The Importance of Foundation Watering

Foundation movement is a natural phenomenon influenced by soil conditions. In regions like Houston, where expansive clay soils are prevalent, maintaining a consistent level of soil moisture around your foundation is crucial. The cyclical nature of clay soils means they expand during wet periods and contract during dry spells. This movement can exert significant pressure on your foundation, potentially leading to cracks, settling, and structural issues.


The Role of Proper Moisture Management

Foundation watering isn't just about keeping your plants lush; it's about preserving the health and stability of your home. So, what's the science behind it? Proper moisture management helps mitigate the excessive swelling and shrinking of clay soils. By maintaining a balanced soil moisture level, you prevent drastic shifts that could adversely affect your foundation's structural integrity. This is where foundation watering systems ome into play. 

Debunking Misinformation & Sales Propaganda 

Unfortunately, the foundation industry has seen its share of misinformation. Some foundation companies may discourage homeowners from foundation watering, claiming it's unnecessary. The motive behind such advice is simple: they profit from repairs necessitated by foundation movement...or they simply believe their own nonsense after years of repeating it. If you're not aware of the importance of moisture control, you might fall into this trap. By not watering your foundation, you inadvertently become a potential client for costly repairs down the line.  


Below is a classic example of misinformaiton put out by a foundation repair company when he states that there is "no evidence that this [foundation watering] actually works". He goes even further and claims foundation watering will make it even worse. Read the full article here

Fact-Based Foundation Care, Not Fear-Based

The truth is, watering your foundation is an essential practice, especially in regions with clay soils like Houston. If contracting or shrinking soils are the cause foundation settlement, then shouldn't expanding and swelling soils be the natural solution to maintaining you foundation?  Effective foundation watering systems are designed to help you maintain optimal soil moisture levels, safeguarding your home's stability and longevity.

Other Well-Known Foundation Experts Agree

DIY Foundation Watering 

Properly watering your foundation is a proactive step in preventing costly repairs down the road. Here's a simple way to water your foundation using a soaker hose until you can have a professional foundation irrigation system installed.

1. Hose Placement: Start by placing a soaker hose around the perimeter of your home, ensuring it's positioned about 12-18 inches away from the foundation. Be mindful of obstacles like your AC units, plants and patio slabs and go around them, not behinf them - this will create a natural moisture barrier that will still beneift the foundation.

2. Timing Matters: To maintain consistent soil moisture levels, it's best to water your foundation during the early morning or late evening hours. This minimizes water loss due to evaporation during the heat of the day.

3. Duration and Frequency: Run the soaker hose twice a day for about 30 minutes, depending on the size of your home and the soil conditions and adjust as needed. The goal is to provide enough moisture to keep the soil consistently hydrated but not soggy. This may vary depending on local weather conditions, so occasional adjustments may be needed.

4. Monitor and Adjust: Regularly check the moisture level of the soil around your foundation. The soil should be evenly moist, not overly wet or completely dry. Adjust the watering schedule as needed to maintain optimal moisture levels.

5. Rainfall Considerations: During rainy periods, you may need to reduce or even pause your foundation watering routine to avoid oversaturation. Conversely, in dry spells, you may need to increase watering frequency.


By diligently following these steps and considering your regional conditions, you can temporarily protect your foundation's stability until a professional irrigation system is feasible. Keep in mind that well-hydrated soil is essential for a resilient foundation. While sprinkler systems benefit your yard, they don't directly support your foundation. To bolster your foundation's defenses against potential issues and reduce the likelihood of costly repairs, a combination of root barriers and a targeted watering system is indispensable for every home.

Conclusion 

In conclusion, the question of whether you need to water your foundation has a resounding "yes." A well-maintained foundation requires proper moisture management, and foundation watering is a proactive step towards that goal. Remember, some foundation companies might downplay the importance of watering to secure their profits. Don't fall victim to misinformation; choose Imperial Pro Foundation Solutions for accurate guidance, reliable solutions, and a foundation that stands strong for years to come.

Rule Your Home. Contact Us Today.

Enough Warrantless Foundation Repair; Fearlessly Protect Your Property with Imperial Pro.

Prioritize our affordable, unbiased inspections, and soil moisture management solutions to safeguard your home, commercial property, and foundation. Unlike traditional foundation repair companies, we offer long-lasting solutions that address the root cause of foundation problems, without the sales pitch, focusing on real results, not just symptoms. Whether you're a property owner or buyer, choose Imperial Pro Inspection LLC as your trusted home and foundation inspection consultant to fearlessly protect your most significant investment - your home.​

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