I was running the soaker hoses around the foundation a few days ago and noticed a pretty bad crack just above the southwest corner of the foundation. Tapping at it with the toe of my shoe caused a chunk of concrete to fall away. I had no idea I possessed such power in my shoes.
I hadn’t paid much attention to this crack because it had been hiding behind shrubs up until a few weeks ago. So I had to wonder if this corner thing means my foundation is critically ill and I should be calling Dr. McPiers.
Not to worry, says R. Michael Gray, P.E. and Matthew T. Gray who have a structural engineering and home inspection firm in Houston.
It’s called a wedge crack. (more…)
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.
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.
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…)
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…)
I’m using soaker hoses around my concrete foundation in an attempt to keep a uniform layer of moisture in the clay soil on which my house sits.
It’s the main tool we homeowners can use in trying to avoid the cost of foundation repair.
I also noticed that I had too much soaker hose on the east side of the house and not enough on west side, such that the hoses weren’t reaching all around the house like they should.
It’s pretty easy to dice and splice soaker hoses to achieve the lengths you need to maximize soakage. Here’s how: (more…)