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tx3step

09:33AM | 10/12/05
Member Since: 10/11/05
3 lifetime posts
Bvbasement
I live in Texas where the weather is hot. Apparently, all summer our side sprinklers were malfunctioning and not watering. Yesterday I had a meter repair on that side of the house and noticed about a 6 inch gap between the foundation and the soil. It runs a few feet and then tightens up but still has a smaller gap by the house. I'm having the sprinklers repaired tomorrow, but know that if I start watering, this could cause a strong foundation shift. So, do I fill in the gap prior to watering? If yes, what is the best thing to fill it in?

bravey

10:32PM | 10/12/05
Member Since: 06/23/04
164 lifetime posts
Howdy from the Brazos Valley! We have had hot, dry weather here too.

You don't need to fill the soil cracks. The biggest foundation problems are due to the vertical movement of the soil, not the horizontal. Filling the crack won't have much effect on the vertical movement. Some areas of Texas have very expansive soils with a high clay content. This clay displays very high volume changes between wet and dry states. Soils that display large cracks when dry tend to have these clays. The most important thing you can do to protect your foundation is to maintain a stable moisture level in the soil around your home. A regular irrigation schedule can help accomplish this. If you (or the weather) apply too much(or too little) water over an extended time period, the clay in the soil will change volume to its maximum or minimum and the foundation will move along with it. The cracks will actually help deliver water faster and deeper into the ground. Once the soil is moistened the cracks will fade or disappear. Just don't overwater in a panic to restore the moisture level. Also, insure that the ground around your house does not run water against your foundation but rather away from it, and that it does not pond water.

Regards
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