September is Florida’s most active month during our hurricane season. Regardless of whether a hurricane or tropical storm directly impacts our area, chances are you will be affected by accompanying heavy bouts of rain. And add the fact that we are in our “rainy” season, water is a concern. This is especially true for your home’s foundation as water is not it’s best friend under any circumstance!
Water can damage foundations in a variety of ways, such as soil erosion, the water table, and pooling. Soil erosion most commonly occurs from the water runoff from your roof or gutters. The type of soil around your home also has a direct impact. For example, soil comprised mostly of gravel or sand will tend to “pool,” whereas clay soil is expansive and will swell. Unfortunately, this swelling will exert pressure against the foundation, causing cracks and gaps and ultimately allowing water to seep in. Bottom line is to watch for groundwater puddling near your foundation. If it occurs, you may want to act sooner rather than later to prevent future damage.
Here are a few tips on things to check now, before any strong storms occur.
- Walk around your home and look for sloping. Does the soil in your yard slope? If it does, great! This will help carry the water away from your home.
- Is the soil compacted or loose? Compacted soil is less likely to shift or move whereas loose soil shifts and can drain back towards the foundation.
- How about your gutters? Make sure they drain downhill away from the house. And don’t forget to make sure your gutters are free of debris. If they are packed with leaves, etc., the water will cascade right off the roof and most likely pool around your home’s foundation.
- Last, but not least, is your landscaping. Often landscaping will create sloping back toward the foundation. If this is the case, you may want to investigate having french drains installed as they are designed specifically to pull the water down a slope away from your home.
Now is the time to have your foundation professionally inspected. We’ll spot things that you might miss. We have seen every type of foundation issue there is and know the early warning signs. Don’t wait until after hurricane season. And, if you are either preparing to sell your home, or are house hunting for a new one, have the foundations professionally inspected. It will save you both headaches and money in the long run.