Maintenance Tips After Repairs Are Complete
Once the repairs are completed, the concrete slab should be maintained properly to reduce the possibility of future soil movement and therefore home foundation movement. Your home now has a more stable foundation after repairs, but extreme weather changes and extreme soil movement can cause further problems. The following minimum preventative measures are recommended.
1) Proper maintenance of the concrete foundation slab includes sustaining relatively constant moisture content of the soil adjacent to the slab foundation. Uniform moisture content can be accomplished by evenly watering next to the foundation slab, especially during dry periods and in the hot summer. We recommend an aggressive watering program be initiated. Watering of the foundation will not cure existing foundation problems or prevent them from occurring. However, it is the best preventative maintenance method and will slow any rate of deterioration.
2) Provide positive drainage away from the slab perimeter. Any standing water near the foundation slab, current or future, should be eliminated. This will promote even moisture content underneath the slab and thus less movement of the soils beneath the foundation slab.
3) An ample amount of water should be provided to large trees surrounding and near the concrete foundation slab. High growth of dense vegetation near the concrete foundation slab should be avoided. Watering of the trees, especially in dry periods, will prevent a situation of differential moisture content in the soil beneath the foundation slab. Remember, differential moisture content – adjacent areas of soil with different moisture content – can cause home foundation problems.
4) Ground elevations of the surrounding flowerbeds should be maintained so that the slab is at least three to four inches above the finished ground, and the flowerbed should be sloped away from the slab for proper drainage. This will also prevent the seepage of moisture into the wall system or inside the residence through weep holes in the brick veneer walls.
5) The residence should not be allowed to go for a substantial period without being heated or cooled. This will eliminate major temperature variations and reduce the concrete slab’s potential for expansion and contraction.
6) The plumbing system, potable water lines, and sewer lines should be checked periodically to insure that there is no leakage. Water leaks cause differential moisture content and any leaks should be repaired immediately.
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