You need to have a good understanding of your foundation because it is what supports your house. The purpose of the foundation is to transfer the weight of the house into the ground. The type of effective foundation depends on the condition of soil at the site and design considerations. If the soil is quite hard and stable, you can build a shallow foundation. If the soil doesn’t have a good bearing capacity, you may need to drill deeper into the ground till you reach the bedrock or till the foundation stabilises. These are called deep foundations.
When it comes to maintenance, there is not a lot to be done. You just need to know the basics. One of the main signs of foundation failure is cracks. But, by this time, the problem will be quite serious. You may need to replace the foundation stumps completely in a method called house restumping in Melbourne, or you may need to reinforce the existing foundation with new material.
First of all, you need to ensure that the soil is properly graded. The yard has to be graded at least 6 inches in 10 feet. You have to check the slope by a level and see if it’s enough for the water to drain away. Water, if it’s not properly managed will reach the foundation and damage the concrete. Long-term exposure to moisture will erode the concrete resulting in leaks and cracks. You may need to carry out house underpinning or replace the foundation completely to resolve the problem. The soil has to be packed firmly near the house. And if the house sits above grade, it will be easier for the water to drain. You can facilitate the draining of water by installing a French drain or digging a trench.
You also have to consider the direction of the downspouts. You have to extend them about 5 to 10 feet away from the house to prevent the water falling onto the foundation. There are many types and styles of extenders. You can choose one that fits the theme of the house.
If you go through a long period of hot climate, the soil around your house will dry out and shrink. Sudden heavy rain will cause the soil to expand radically. This will put a lot of pressure on the foundation walls. To prevent this, you can install a soaker hose around your house during the dry months. It will have to be at least 6 inches from the foundation walls.
Another problem to your foundation is tree and shrub roots. During a dry climate, they will try to soak up moisture from the ground resulting in the foundation settling unevenly. One sign of this is cracking of drywalls. This will cause the doors and windows to stick in their frames. As a preventative measure, the deep rooted shrubs and trees can be planted away from the house.