Aptly named, the foundation of your home is its core, its roots and its very heart. No wonder foundation liners, grading and keeping an eye on it is so important. If it gets damaged, it can be one of the costliest repairs you’ll ever face. Depending on the severity of the damage, it can cost several thousand dollars to repair and render your family “homeless” for weeks. Plus, there’s no putting off foundation repairs-many times the damage will exacerbate quickly, so the longer you wait, the worse (and more expensive) it will get.
The good news is that there are many ways to protect your foundation. Taking a proactive approach by doing preventative care is crucial. Don’t assume that the builders or previous owners took all the necessary measures to prevent water damage or that a “foundation settling” can’t lead to cracks. Here’s your cheat sheet for foundation protection. Make sure all of these measures are in place immediately in order to avoid a disaster down the road:
1. Foundation liners
Any home with a window well has a veritable pool just waiting to be filled flush against the foundation. Those tiny pinholes and hairline cracks can let water seep in and quietly warp the wood beyond repair. It’s also a cesspool for fungi and bacterial growth. Not only will a foundation liner help protect your foundation, but it will also make the entire window well look gorgeous-choose from a variety of materials that mimic natural materials.
2. Proper soil grading
Basements are hotspots for flooding, but you can’t blame an overactive washing machine every time. Yes, it’s where a lot of pipes are close to the walls, but more often it’s a quick spring thaw or heavy rain that’s to blame. Particularly if your basement has windows, you need to make sure the soil against the foundation is graded away from the home. A reputable landscaper can help with this.
3. Clear away snow quickly
If you live in a snowy region, as tedious as it may be, you need to remove snow regularly from your foundation and roof. Both of these areas are vulnerable to water damage, and snow is a lot heavier than you think. If you’ve been waiting for an excuse to hire a professional snow crew, this is it. Whether you use your own elbow grease or prefer to hire help, it’s much easier and more affordable than risking a damaged foundation or roof from snowfall.
4. Get your downspouts in order
Are your downspouts directing water far enough away from your home? There’s only one way to find out. Ask your contractor when you’re having your roof inspected. You could probably do better with downspouts and maybe even utilize some of that rainfall for gray water in the home (ultimately conserving resources and cash flow).
No matter how new or old your home is, safeguarding the costliest and most vulnerable areas is critical. Otherwise, it’s like walking around in designer heels without bothering to get a grip slip put on the soles. Take care of your foundation, and it’ll take care of you.