Thursday, March 30th, 2017 by Will Blake
Recently I visited a few homes in the Calumet and El Reno area and each had a pattern I noticed. All the homes were built within the last 5 years and all had foundation problems along the garage walls. The homes were fitted with gutters but only along the front. This was a standard practice by the builder and gave the home and completed 'curb appeal' that most home buyers have attraction to. The walls in question were sections where the downspouts collect the roof runoff and terminated on the front corners. Much like a major highway; when the traffic lanes are focused down to a few resolute lanes, the traffic gets heavy and backs up. Your foundation is no different. When the massive surface areas similar to a roof is collecting and directing water to exit point on the corners of your home this is a recipe for disaster. The water collects along the stem wall and then soaks into the soil. Most areas in the El Reno area are known for having our bright red, port clay. So this clay absorbs moisture and weakens. The weight of the home can no longer be supported and then home sinks. Most of these can be avoided with a few small and simple steps that range from $10-100.
Simple black corrogated pipe from local hardware store. While this not the most attractive solution it will mechanically work to maintaining the concentration of water away from your home. A good rule of thumb is 6-7 feet away from each corner.
Splash Blocks. Thes small plastic items are common around the OKC metro area. they area a cost effective and minimally invasive look however, they do not help unless you have immediate slope away from the home. I do not recommend using these on areas where the lot is flat or sloped against the home.
LawnScape Extensions. Lawnscape extensions are the best and most permanent way make sure the foundation is kept clear of rainwater caused by your roof and/or downspouts. this is installed by hard piping the downspout away from the home using heavy grade PVC and fitting with a durable end cap that will keep debris out from the line. It can also take the weight of a lawnmower and vehicle if needed.
For more information on ways to prevent foundation settlement. Visit us at www.vestafoundationsolutions.com. Vesta Foundation Solutions specializes in foundation repair, concrete leveling, dirt crawl space repair and wood framing repair.