Comments on: How to Take Care of Your Foundation http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/living-in-your-home/green-home-conversion/ihow-care-foundationi/ Wed, 21 Aug 2013 10:45:36 -0500 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.6 By: frankschulteladbeck http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/living-in-your-home/green-home-conversion/ihow-care-foundationi/#comment-9344 Wed, 21 Aug 2013 10:45:36 +0000 http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/?p=788#comment-9344 Garden beds are generally designed to soak up more water than the remaining parts of the property, so this will always be a concern. If the mulch is at the same level as the yard, excess water will run off as the landscaper suggest; however, you do have to watch the water flow patterns in your yard. If the bed is holding too much water can be determined visually by looking for water standing in the bed a day after the rain, or by a moisture meter. If the moisture is not overly wet, then the plants will be making use of it (an annual flower bed would use more than the grass for example). If you do have too much moisture, then you do have to look at ways of encouraging draining.

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By: Susan Beeghly http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/living-in-your-home/green-home-conversion/ihow-care-foundationi/#comment-9331 Sat, 17 Aug 2013 20:34:34 +0000 http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/?p=788#comment-9331 Landscapers recently regraded our very flat yard so it slopes better toward the street. They amended the flower bed by the front foundation so the soil has more compost and is more “loamy”. The rest of the yard (newly sodded) is clay with an inch or 2 of topsoil. The flower bed is surrounded by the yard and although it appears to slope away from the house, the mulch is level with the yard. Doesn’t that mean the bed could soak up water and not allow proper drainage down the new slope of the lawn? The landscaper denies this would be a problem.

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By: frankschulteladbeck http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/living-in-your-home/green-home-conversion/ihow-care-foundationi/#comment-9196 Fri, 14 Dec 2012 16:06:18 +0000 http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/?p=788#comment-9196 The foundation can still suffer from movement over this period, so it s good to have it checked out, but if the structure is not sitting on it, it would not have suffered from the same stresses as it would have. Small cracks may not be a concern, depending upon location and how much separation is evident. I have seen this more in commercial construction, where a poured foundation does not have the structure placed upon the foundation for some years. Generally, I have not seen problems with the foundations in these structures.

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By: xin zhou http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/living-in-your-home/green-home-conversion/ihow-care-foundationi/#comment-9195 Fri, 14 Dec 2012 06:17:56 +0000 http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/?p=788#comment-9195 Dear Frank,
We are purchasing a land with an existing foundation in CT. The foundation was poured in 2007, a very large time gap. From surface, it still looks ok with some very minor cracks. But I don’t know what else to look for. I will have some specialist to inspect it. but i value your opinion on it. With such a time gap, is the new foundation considered “OLD” already? Thanks a lot for your time!

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By: frankschulteladbeck http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/living-in-your-home/green-home-conversion/ihow-care-foundationi/#comment-9173 Mon, 26 Nov 2012 17:18:46 +0000 http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/?p=788#comment-9173 Sand is often used when grading a newly constructed home, since it is an easy material to grade. What sand does though is to let water flow quickly away from that area. Adding compost into the soil will help with water retention. As for the tree, was the stumped removed? If the tree still has a stump above the grade of your soil, there is a possibility that the tree is taking up water to sprout new growth. If the crew came in with a grinder, taking the tree to below soil level, then the tree will start to decay. How long will depend on a few factors, so I cannot give you a time frame. What will happen though is the roots from the tree will help to hold water in the soil as the tree decays.

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By: uday http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/living-in-your-home/green-home-conversion/ihow-care-foundationi/#comment-8733 Sat, 24 Nov 2012 04:56:48 +0000 http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/?p=788#comment-8733 One front corner of my 12 yr old house has dipped and the slab has developed a crack. There was a Pear tree at that corner and I got it cut after i noticed a wall separation in the front. I am watering with a soaker hose 6-8 inches from the foundation. We got the tree cut but am not sure how long it will take to reverse the dry ness in teh soil. The place around the tree shows sandy soil. i wonder if the sand is any good close o the house.

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By: frankschulteladbeck http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/living-in-your-home/green-home-conversion/ihow-care-foundationi/#comment-5220 Thu, 30 Aug 2012 11:29:52 +0000 http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/?p=788#comment-5220 The best solution is to mix the sandy loam mix with the clay soil to limit expansion. If you do fill the gap with this mix, do proper mulch and water the clay soil to limit expansion. The amount of water can be variable, so that is why I suggest the moisture meter to determine the amount needed. Non soil products, like the expanding foam, may just be pushed with the clay soil. I cannot think of a material off hand that will let the water drain to avoid expansion while also being able to compress if the clay expands, so the sandy loam may be best.

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By: Nancy http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/living-in-your-home/green-home-conversion/ihow-care-foundationi/#comment-5219 Fri, 24 Aug 2012 18:50:48 +0000 http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/?p=788#comment-5219 I hadn’t thought of that, but no, I didn’t break up and mix the soil underneath. There was probably even old mulch and black plastic that was covered up. My main concern is keeping my wall from cracking more. Question: If I fill the gap with sandy loam mixed with organic matter thus having a layer of sandy loam between the foundation and clay soil, should that be enough of a cushion to keep the clay soil from expanding and pushing in my foundation wall? I even thought about using some sort of expanding foam. Thoughts?

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By: frankschulteladbeck http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/living-in-your-home/green-home-conversion/ihow-care-foundationi/#comment-5218 Thu, 23 Aug 2012 00:19:17 +0000 http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/?p=788#comment-5218 Hello Nancy,

the pulling away of the soil would indicate that the soil is lacking sufficient moisture, but there may an attributing factor. When you added the soil, did you loosen the soil that was already in the bed? I mean was it broken apart so that old soil mixes with new? The reason I ask is that the new soil may be moving on its own, while the deeper older soil is in place. Re-digging and leveling can possibly resolve some issues. I would suggest doing this, then I would suggest checking the area with a moisture meter which is about $10 from your garden center. With the meter, you can check around the home to see that moisture is consistent. Something to consider is a mulch. One area where I have problems in my home was an area in the back under a tree. The tree dried the top soil out by drinking up the water. Other plants were harder to grow due to the deep shade. I placed a rock mulch of small pebbles, which make a nice crunch under foot, that has kept this ground at a consistent moisture level. My rock mulch is about two inches thick. The benefit of the pebbles is that they do not wash away and they do not decompose. The pebbles do embed into the ground, so you do need the two inches. This can be more expensive than other mulches, but you are not replacing it every year. Hope this helps.

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By: Nancy http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/living-in-your-home/green-home-conversion/ihow-care-foundationi/#comment-5217 Wed, 22 Aug 2012 21:22:03 +0000 http://yourhoustonhomeinspector.com/?p=788#comment-5217 Hello Frank. Regarding your answer to “Jeremy” on April 11, is it acceptable to simply fill the gap with sandy loam mixed with organic matter? Thus having a layer of sandy loam between the foundation and clay soil? My dilemma is the same with the addition of this: Upon noticing a gap last year AND that the yard sloped down toward the house, I added approx. 2 ft. of soil, packed and graded it away from the foundation. I didn’t realize the soil was mostly clay. During winter, a horizontal hairline crack appeared inside my basement along the block wall at the outside location where the original soil met the additional soil added. Over summer a 2-3″ gap formed between the outside foundation wall and new clay soil. A suitable fix would be __? The best fix would be __? I have learned much from reading your answers!

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