We work with hundreds of people moving into the Kansas City area. We spend a lot of time educating our clients about our city, but also about how to take care of the properties they rent. One of the things we explain to new renters is that many parts of Kansas City are built on clay soil. Clay is a very interesting and unique material to build on. The Clay is constantly expanding and contracting. That means the house they are renting is constantly expanding and contracting as the temperatures and seasons change. With this movement, we start to see cosmetic cracks on the interior along with the exterior. These cosmetic cracks will eventually turn into structural cracks if not taken care of.
The goal is to create as little movement as possible in your home’s foundation. In order to do this, you must water your foundation when it is hot out. You need to keep a consistent amount of water around your foundation.
This can be accomplished in a couple of ways. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, you should be fine as long as the water reaches all the way to the house. If you are manually watering with a sprinkler, make sure you cover the entire foundation, not just the front and back of the house. You need to be watering the sides of your foundation also.
You could also use soaker hoses. These hoses, usually black, should be placed 12-18 inches away from the house. You do not want to put them right up against the slab because too much water could get stuck under the slab and the house could rise. You’re just looking for consistent moisture around the foundation. Using the soaker hoses about 10-15 minutes 3-4 days a week in the summer will help you save thousands on future foundation repair in the future. It’s a simple, easy fix for hot, dry summers, and there’s no excuse for a bad foundation when it’s part of everyday house maintenance.
Are you watering your foundation? Do you have any additional tips? Please comment!