Soaker Hoses

Using soaker hoses around concrete slab foundations for stability in expansive clay soils.

Clay Soil – Living In The Swell Times of Shrink-Swell

This little blog is written from the Dallas, Texas part of the globe which happens to be in one of the busiest areas for foundation repair companies. Why?

Most of the residential neighborhoods are built on what used to be black prairie farmland.  Where once they grew cotton they now grow housing developments planted in the same heavy clay soils.

These soils swell when wet and shrink when it’s dry. The result is rising, falling and twisting of the average slab-on-ground concrete foundation. The use of soaker hoses to keep the soil around the foundation moist is a must. (more…)

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House Foundation – Soaker Hose and Old Man Winter

A question that comes to mind is “Should I worry about my soaker hoses that are around my house foundation being damaged by freezing temperatures during the winter?”

Short answer: “Not really.”

Most soaker hoses are made from recycled tires which is pretty tough stuff. Add to that the fact that soaker hoses are porous by design and should not have much water in them a few hours after they’ve been run. You can also blast the water out with an air compressor or good old lung power.

It’s an excellent idea to cover soaker hoses with a thick layer of mulch. Doing so cuts back on loss of water through evaporation during the hot months and offers protection from freezing weather during the winter. A six inch layer would be a good start.

Of course you can damage soaker hoses by running them while the outside temperatures are well below freezing and yanking on them while they are frozen stiff. But who besides your crazy neighbor would be doing that? Not you. You’re inside enjoying a warm beverage and not worrying about your soaker hoses.

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Replacing Lost Moisture Under the Foundation

Another thing Tom the Contractor suggested for reversing the loss of moisture under my slab foundation after the root barriers were installed was to rehydrate the soil. That’s a fancy word for squirting water into the dirt under the house.
Getting some water back under the slab

One of his crew went all around the foundation with machine similar to a power washer with a plunger attachment. A garden hose was attached and the plunger was pushed a good three feet deep into the soil every 24 inches or so. A valve on the handle controlled the flow of water.

Between the rehydration treatment and a better soaker hose configuration we are getting moisture back into that clay soil.

UPDATE: This was probably not needed given the slab leak that was discovered a few years later.

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Soaker Hoses on Steroids

I’ve been talking about using soaker hoses to keep the soil around my foundation from completely drying up during this blazing hot and dry summer.

If you have shrink-swell clay soil it can shrink away from your concrete slab during dry periods and possibly cause damage.

This morning, I ran across the website of a company that sells what you could call soaker hoses on steroids.

It’s a system designed to water the soil around your foundation good and deep and keep it that way. (more…)

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Your House Foundation and The Trouble with Soaker Hoses

I’ve noticed that the soaker hose that runs along the west side of my concrete slab foundation is out of pressure before it reaches the end.

The trip from the faucet to the tip of the hose is about 70 feet. I’m turning the faucet on hard enough that the first 20 feet of soaker hose is not just dripping, but spraying.

Yet the water still doesn’t make it to the end of the hose. A 70 foot run is too much. (more…)

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