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How to Water Your Foundation: 5 Easy Steps

The soil around a home’s foundation plays an important role in maintaining the integrity of the structure. Overly dry or expansive clay soils can lead to settlement and cracking, making it necessary to keep the foundation watered properly.  

On this page, we will explain why it may be necessary to water your foundation and how to water it in five simple steps. 

Why Water Your Foundation? 

It’s important to note that every location and home is unique. Before watering your foundation, it’s best to reach out to a foundation specialist.  

Watering your foundation is an important maintenance task that helps prevent issues such as foundation settlement, cracking, and upheaval. Here’s why it could be essential: 

Maintaining Soil Moisture 

Soil moisture levels fluctuate due to weather conditions, such as drought or heavy rain. Uneven moisture levels can cause the soil beneath your foundation to shrink or swell, leading to foundation movement. Properly watering your foundation helps maintain consistent soil moisture, reducing the risk of foundation problems. 

Preventing Soil Erosion 

Adequate moisture helps stabilize the soil around your foundation, preventing erosion. Soil erosion can undermine the support for your foundation, leading to settlement and structural damage over time. 

Counteracting Drought Effects 

During dry periods, the soil around your foundation can become excessively dry, causing it to shrink and pull away from the foundation. This can create voids beneath the foundation, leading to settlement. Watering your foundation helps counteract the effects of drought by keeping the soil moist and preventing excessive shrinkage. 

Minimizing Swelling in Expansive Soils 

In areas with expansive clay soils, fluctuations in moisture can cause significant swelling and shrinking of the soil. This movement can exert pressure on the foundation, leading to cracks and other damage. By maintaining consistent moisture levels, you can minimize soil expansion and reduce the risk of foundation issues. 

5 Steps to Water Your Foundation 

To properly water your foundation, it’s important to pay attention to climate and soil conditions. If your local foundation specialist recommends watering your foundation, these are five steps to effectively water your foundation: 

  • Determine Watering Schedule: Depending on your climate and soil conditions, establish a watering schedule to ensure consistent moisture levels around your foundation. During dry periods, you may need to water more frequently. 
  • Use Soaker Hoses or Drip Irrigation: Install soaker hoses or drip irrigation systems around the perimeter of your home, near the foundation. These systems deliver water slowly and evenly, allowing it to penetrate the soil deeply without causing runoff. 
  • Water Deeply and Infrequently: When watering your foundation, aim to moisten the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Water deeply and infrequently rather than shallowly and frequently, as this encourages deep root growth and helps maintain soil stability. 
  • Avoid Overwatering: While it’s important to keep the soil around your foundation moist, avoid overwatering, which can lead to water pooling and drainage issues. Monitor the soil moisture levels regularly and adjust your watering schedule as needed. 
  • Pay Attention to Weather Conditions: Adjust your watering schedule based on weather conditions, such as rainfall or drought. During rainy periods, you may need to reduce or suspend watering, while during dry spells, you may need to increase frequency. 

By following these steps and properly watering your foundation, you can help maintain stable soil conditions and protect your home from foundation problems. We recommend scheduling a free inspection with foundation repair experts like those at Groundworks before undertaking this process. 

Safeguard Your Foundation with Groundworks 

Keeping your foundation watered is a necessary step to ensuring your home’s structural integrity. At Groundworks, we offer free inspections and maintenance programs. During a free inspection, our professionals will assess your foundation and help you determine your home’s soil type and the proper watering schedule. You are not alone in maintaining the safety and security of your home. Reach out for a free inspection today and safeguard your home for years to come. 

Leah Leitow

Leah Leitow

Content Writer

Leah is a Content Writer for Groundworks with nearly ten years of experience working in the foundation repair industry. Her experience ranges from working with homeowners to find the right solution to training inspectors and staff. In her background as a Michigan journalist, she gained invaluable insight into people's lives throughout our state. Leah lives in metro Detroit with her husband and two sons.