Many causes of foundation cracks are the result of poor construction and unpredictable weather, but there are also manmade causes that you need to be aware of. As a homeowner, there are some simple mistakes you could make that will cause major damage to your foundation in the future. Rather than setting yourself up for a high foundation crack repair bill, you could avoid these issues altogether. Here are four ways homeowners cause foundation cracks.
Improper Drainage Systems
The water draining from your roof, your gutters, and your landscaping all needs to have a place to go – far away from your foundation. Something as simple as a downspout pointed the wrong direction could cause a buildup of water right along your foundation line. Gutter and downspout water should be deposited at least 10 feet away from expansive soil near your home. Your landscaping should have a slope of 3-5%, directing the water away from your home.
Poorly Installed Swimming Pools
Swimming pools are big bodies of water waiting to seep into the ground. If they are not installed properly, the water that leaks out of them can get into the expansive soil around your home and put tremendous pressure on your foundation. Combine that with the storms that hit Michigan in the spring, and you have a recipe for disaster.
If you are getting a pool installed in your home, make sure it has proper waterproofing to avoid all potential leaks. Have all existing swimming pools inspected once a year for leaking equipment and other maintenance concerns.
Overwatered Lawn Features
Overwatering your grass and plants won’t just drown the flora around your home. It will also cause extra water to build up around your foundation. Michigan doesn’t have the same dry season that many southern states experience, so overwatering isn’t as much of a concern here. Nevertheless, you need to be careful about how often you water your lawn and how much water you deposit at one time.
Closely Placed Landscaping
If you install your landscaping features too close to your foundation, you may experience foundation cracks over time. That could be due in part to the overwatering issue mentioned above, or it could be the result of roots growing next to and under the foundation. In addition to these issues, the soil next to the home may expand to fill with water before the roots have a chance to get to it. You’ll end up with unhealthy plants and a cracked foundation because you did not plan out your landscaping well enough.
Contact a professional landscaper in your area to talk about your options, and do everything you can to avoid foundation cracks in Michigan.