Exterior Drainage and Your Foundation

A lot of houses suffer from the issues of poor drainage in their exterior, which is damaging the foundation’s structural integrity. As a matter of fact, this problem can stem from different potential sources and the truth is that repairing it as early as possible is considered as the most ideal way in order to keep the foundation of your home in effective and successful repair. In this article, we will discuss how wrong or incorrect installation of exterior drainage result in the damage of your foundation

Depositing Rainwater Next to Your Foundation from Downspouts and Gutters 

 One of the most primary sources of having a poor drainage around your exterior has something to do with your downspouts and gutters. However, your house need gutters and downspouts and all you have to do is to make a solution on how to stop the rain water deposit next to your foundation structure. The issue here is that your downspout can deposit rainwater from your roof near to your foundation as well as the surrounding soil doesn’t slope away from your home’s structure. 

 The best solution to this kind of problem is to install subsurface drainage pipes that are connected to your downspouts as well as leading the water away from your foundation into a safe discharge location. For instance, it can be lead to the curb at your street or also to a natural low spot right on your property. Also, in some cases, having a sump pump installed is very important if your house is located in a lower spot. 

 Missing Downspouts and Gutters 

 In some cases, a house structure might entirely lack downspouts and gutters or it have missing sections. The truth is that this can cause the water from your roof to eventually pour down around your home’s perimeter, softening soil under your foundation as well as leading to the settlement of your beam or slab. 

 The best solution here is to install a downspout or a gutter system all around your house and then connect it to your downspouts into the buried pipes or even a sump pump in order to move the water away from your foundation. 

 Poorly Installed Downspouts and Gutters 

Another potential problem in your drainage system happens when downspouts and gutters were not installed properly. As a matter of fact, your gutters need to slightly slope toward your downspouts and if they are not installed this way, water might spill out in the wrong direction and it can create foundation settlement and soil erosion. This is the reason why it’s best that you only hire a professional in this kind of project because if your drainage and gutters or downspouts are not installed properly, then there’s a big possibility that you will end up causing more damages to your foundation. 

If you think that your foundation has already been damaged due to your home’s exterior drainage, then it’s best that you reach out to a professional and highly reputable foundation repair service provider in your area such as Irving Foundation Repair

What Type of Foundation Does Your House Have?

Whenever you contact a professional Houston Foundation Repair company for a foundation service, they will certainly ask you what type of foundation you’ve got. Of course, as a homeowner, you might wonder if it really matters. Well, the truth is that it does matter. The reason for this is that there are various foundation repair solutions that vary on the kind of foundation they have to work on.  

Three Common Types of Foundation 

  • Slab 

This type of foundation is a concrete pad. This is the simplest foundation to build and it requires little preparation, unlike other types of foundation. Typically, the concrete is about 6-inch thick for the rest of the slab and 2-feet thick at the perimeter. To strengthen this foundation, wire meshing and rebar are used to enclose the concrete.  

  • Crawl Space 

The crawl space is like a cousin of the basement foundation. Typically, crawl spaces are around 2 up to 5 feet in height. Crawl spaces are typically built with cinder block walls, just like a basement. However, it could have a dirt floor or concrete slab floor. Typically, this type of foundation is built in areas that are prone to flooding or areas with high water tables. Crawl spaces can be utilized to store some items. However, it can be overrun by pests or mold. 

  • Basement 

Typically, basement foundations are around 8-feet deep. For the floor, they typically have a concrete slab. For stability and strength, the walls are usually built from cinder blocks. The normal building procedure of walls, beams, then slabs helps stop water from leaking into the basement. Basement enables for extra storage or living space. It is an area where you can go if there is bad weather. It also offers other benefits.  

Choosing a Foundation 

There are a lot of differences between the types of foundations we mentioned above. So, how can a homeowner determine what type is ideal for their house? First of all, you have to know the cost, the weather conditions in your area, and the soil. In addition to that, you also have to know what you need or want in a foundation. You might not be able to have a basement if the house is being constructed on a high water table. However, a slab might not be an excellent idea if the weather in your location is cold. In several areas throughout the United States, it is hard to dig into the boulders or bedrock under the ground. This makes the basement or crawl space expensive or difficult to construct.  

It is crucial that you communicate with a reliable contractor whenever you are constructing a house. This will help you have an idea about all the options that are available to you. You will also know the advantages and disadvantages of every option. 

Fixing a Foundation 

There are various choices on how to repair the damage, depending on the kind of foundation and the form of repair required. Thus, when you want to fix your foundation, it is important that you know what type you have. 

Things to Do About Woodpecker Damage on Tree

The connection that birds have with our trees could be extremely beautiful, whether it is a hummingbird fluttering around the flowers or a robin floating in the canopy.  

However, it can also get worse. One type of bird that really loves trees is woodpeckers. These birds create holes in the trunk of a tree using their beaks to look for food. This can leave wounds that can damage your trees in the future.  

Here are several tips that can help your tree if you think that a woodpecker has been poking at it.  

How to Identify Woodpecker Damage 

To nibble on the sap inside and grubs of boring insects, woodpeckers jab, poke, and prod at a tree. Thus, what will happen to your tree when they do this? 

What Does the Damage Look Like? 

It is hard to miss the mark that a woodpecker makes. For instance, one type of woodpecker that most usually target trees is the yellow-bellied sapsuckers. They produce accurate rows of vertical or horizontal holes throughout the trunk of the tree. Typically, the holes are created closely to each other. This ranges from 2 inches to 8 inches in diameter. Since sapsuckers typically return to that particular tree more than once, you will find a lot of holes in the tree. Typically, sapsuckers prefer several trees. This includes fruit trees, birch, spruce, pine, and maple. However, they can also target any type of tree.  

A different pest might be poking at your tree if the description above does not quite match what you are seeing.  

What Does Woodpecker Damage Do To Trees? 

Actually, you do not have to worry about the pecking. You will have to worry about what’s going to happen in the future. Each time your tree is damaged, it leaves access for deadly fungi or pests to get inside. This will further kill or weaken your tree. In addition to that, your tree can be weakened by the feeding if it is already sick before the woodpecker started pecking. If that happens, it will have a more difficult time getting its strength back. 

How to Stop Woodpecker Damage 

Unfortunately, once the woodpecker has chipped away at your tree, there is no way to heal the damage. However, you don’t have to worry since the birds don’t pose any threat to your tree. Woodpeckers are not a big of an issue as long as you provide your tree all the required nutrients to stay healthy.  

However, it is not ideal to simply let the woodpecker peck your tree. It is recommended that you protect it. One way to protect your tree is to wrap the trunk in thin material. Sapsuckers are usually active in September and October, and April and May. Thus, you should cover it during those months. To avoid moisture buildup on the bark of the tree, you should ensure that you get rid of the cover in the off-months. You can always contact a professional Grand Prairie Tree Service company to help you with tree wrapping. 

Should You Hire a Professional for Foundation Inspection?

Have you noticed what you think is a sign of foundation damage in your house? Perhaps you discover that your doors do not properly close, maybe you notice that your floors are sloping or uneven, or perhaps you see cracks in your walls. Of course, if you want to save money, you will probably think that it could wait. If you’re a busy person, you probably don’t have the time to deal with it.  

However, do you really have any idea what the issue really is? What you have noticed are simply signs. Thus, you’re likely not sure what the real issue is. If this is the case, it’s time to call a professional Garland Foundation Repair company for a foundation inspection.  

Do Not Miss Other Major Problems 

It is often vital to getting a home inspection for foundation repair issues since you might not know how big the problem is. As a homeowner, you might assume that those cracks are nothing. However, a professional contractor doing a house inspection might see it as a major stability issue with your house. These issues could put you and your family in danger. To know if those minor problems that you have been ignoring aren’t really major issues that need to be immediately addressed, it is ideal to have a home inspection regularly. You should not put your family in danger. Hire a professional to inspect your home for any major foundation problems.  

Know What the Real Issue Is 

Oftentimes, homeowners cause bigger issues whenever they do a DIY solution to foundation issues. They could even just cover up the issue rather than repairing it. Oftentimes, this is the case when a homeowner simply fills a crack without getting to the root of the problem. In addition to that, they might not even be repairing the right issue and might not have the proper tools to do the job. An expert home inspection professional will take care of every single issue you have. Aside from examining the signs that you are seeing, they will also look around your house and look for other symptoms of foundation issues. They will tell you what the problem actually is, how the issue can be fixed. They can also answer all the questions that you might have. Typically, inspections are free for homeowners. Thus, you don’t have to worry about anything.  

Estimates are Typically Free 

In almost every case, for homeowners, house inspections are typically free. This is one of the best reasons why you should get a house inspection. The truth is that it is an excellent move if you get a free estimate from several firms. The reason for this is that contractors, methods, and rates are all different. You might prefer a particular contractor over the other. You might also have to stick on a budget and choose a company based on that. Keep in mind that foundation repairs don’t always have to be costly. You might even be surprised by the results it could bring you. 

How Does Water Enter Your Basement?

Have you ever visited your basement and noticed that it is musty and damp? You might even see small rivers or puddles on the floor. However, how does water enter your basement?  

For those who don’t know, water prefers to follow the path of least resistance. It also follows gravity. Thus, water would find its way in if there is an open space, crack, or gap.  

Here are several common ways water can enter your basement: 

Walk-Up Basement 

Can you access your basement from the outside of your home? As we’ve mentioned, water will flow downward since it follows the path of least resistance. One ideal way for water to enter is through the stairs that lead to your basement.  

Damp Air from Humidity 

Compared to cold air, warm air is capable of holding more moisture. Air humidity, during the summer, can improve. This causes general dampness in your basement. Since basements are underground and the ground preserves warmth, they tend to be warmer than the rest of your home.  

Undersized or Failed Pumps 

In getting rid of excess water from your basement, a sump pump can do a lot of work. However, water could back up and flood a basement if the sump up isn’t working properly. Typically, a sump pump runs on a battery or electricity. It could result in a wet basement if the battery is dead or the power goes out. In addition to that, if a sump pump is extremely small to handle the amount of water in your basement, it will be considered undersized. This will leave you with a soggy mess. 

Mortar Joints and Wall Cracks 

Cracks in the space or wall at mortar joints can make the best entry points for water, just like floor cracks. Usually, one of the causes of cracked walls is the pressure coming from the surrounding soil. In addition to that, the basement walls can also be damaged by tree roots. If you notice cracks in the walls, it’s best to contact a professional Frisco Foundation Repair company to have it fixed.  

Over the Sill Plate 

Your house is anchored to the foundation by a sill plate. The exterior part of the sill plates will be covered by wall sheathing and siding. For those who don’t know, any area where two materials meet could leave space and gaps. This is ideal for water to get through. 

Pipe Penetrations 

Typically, a basement is utilized as the utility corridor of a house. This includes water pipes, gas lines, and heating ducts. Several homeowners also use their basement to store items such as utility sink or a bathroom, washing machine, or hot water heater. A damaged pipe could create a flood of water into your basement. on the other hand, a minor leak can only create a bit of dampness.  

Window Wells and Windows 

By its nature, windows are openings in the wall of your house. A window is vulnerable to water if it is ill-fitted, cracked, poorly sealed, or rotted.