Gorden House Leveling and Foundation Repair, Inc.

Foundation Maintenance

**Remember, moisture control can minimize soil movement**

Foundation Maintenance

Highly active clays characterize soils of the North Texas area. These clays exhibit a high degree of expansion when wet, and shrinkage when dry. This movement can result in severe damage to the structure. Repeated changes in moisture content can cause differential movement and undue stress to structural elements of the building. Unleveled floors, crackling of masonry, drywall and sticking of the doors and windows is not uncommon. The key to reducing this problem is proper moisture control.


Maintain soil around the house with a gentle slope, away from the perimeter beam for a distance of approximately three feet. Soil should be mostly clay so that it will shed rainwater (sandy loam or porous material should not be used). A swale, or drainage channel should be incorporated into soil grading between structures. These features should never be altered by addition of fill material or blocked by construction of landscaping beds, structures, etc.

  • While not absolutely necessary, gutter and downspouts are helpful in improving drainage around a structure and reducing erosion adjacent to the grade beam.
  • Flowerbed curbs and walls near the foundation may trap water. These beds should be filled with soil to prevent ponding.
  • Large trees or shrubs can consume tremendous amounts of water and should not be planted next to the foundation.


Water can be removed from the soil by evaporation, or from the roots of trees and shrubs growing too close to the foundation. Whenever cracking of the soil occurs, or the soil shrinks away from the foundation, the moisture level is too low.

Water should be added in a slow, systematic manner using an automatic sprinkler system or soaker hoses placed 18" -24" from the foundation with holes facing downward. Water should be applied very slowly until a small runoff is observed. During hot or dry weather, this process may be repeated daily.
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