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Tuesday
Jun262012

Preventing Foundation Settlement

It may sound a little counterintuitive, but one of your greatest allies in preventing foundation problems is something on your roof. I'm talking about rain gutters. Rainwater is a natural element that can wreak havoc on a house if it’s not controlled by properly installed and maintained rain gutters. Every house should have gutters and in recent years building officials across the land have been recognizing this. Many municipalities around the country are now requiring gutters on all new residential construction.

CLAY SOILS

Since the soil in Central Texas can be highly expansive (lots of clay in the soil), controlling moisture around the foundation can be crucial. Soil with high clay content tend to expand and contract a lot. On a house without gutters rain water comes off the drip line of the house and saturates the soil around the foundation. When wet, clay soils expand. Then in  the dry summer months the water drys back and the soil contracts. This pattern of expansion and contractor can be prevented with gutters.

SOIL EROSION

Gutters can also help to prevent erosion of soil from around the foundation which is another contributor to foundation movement. In some extreme cases movement of water at the foundation can cause serious problems. Rain gutters aren't enough. In order to prevent soil erosion you also need to have properly installed downspouts and diverters.

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