How Often Can I Water My Foundation?

Using a Soaker Hose System To Prevent Damage To Your Home’s Foundation.

We have been in a severe drought here in North Texas for over three years now. And it doesn’t look to be getting better any time soon.

Under the North Texas Municipal Water District Stage 3 restrictions, landscape watering is now limited to once every other week. Unless we get any significant rainfall this spring, this is bad news for lawns and landscapes this summer. And possibly bad news for your home.

Luckily for homeowners, there is an exception to the restriction.

Despite the outdoor watering restrictions, local water districts and utilities have recognized the importance of protecting a home by watering the foundation.

There are of course rules that go along with this exemption, and a proper way to go about following them.

You are allowed to water your foundation and any vegetation within ten feet of the foundation of your home every day for up to 2 hours between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. the following morning.

Some cities do vary in their restrictions and exemptions a little. So check your cities website for full details.

Signs of foundation problems.

Setting up a foundation watering system and maintaining a watering schedule is very important before any signs of a problem appear. If you don’t have a watering system in place and any of the following warning signs do start to appear, it is time to act immediately.

Cracks in walls and trim

Cracks in walls and trim

  • Soil separating from foundation
  • Foundation cracking
  • Doors and windows out of alignment and not closing
  • Exterior cracks. Cracking bricks
  • Interior cracks in walls and trim
  • Out of level counters or floors
Zigzag cracks in brick

Zigzag cracks in brick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Setting up a soaker hose system and using it properly to protect your home.

The most common and easiest way to water your foundation is to use a soaker hose system. In terms of the cost of repairs a damaged foundation will cause, a soaker hose system is inexpensive by comparison.

Here is a typical set up for each faucet on the exterior of a home:

  • Three way spigot splitter
  • Timer
  • (2) 25 foot garden hoses
  • (4) 25 foot soaker hoses
  • (2) “Y” splitters

Every house will require a different configuration. It all depends on the size of the house and the number and location of spigots.

Set up:

  • Connect three way spigot splitter
  • Connect timer
  • Connect garden hoses
  • Connect “Y splitter at end of each garden hose
  • Connect two soaker hoses to each garden hose

foundation-watering-system-setup

Placement and depth of the soaker hoses is important. Hoses should be six to twelve inches away from the foundation at a depth of about 3 inches. Don’t place the hoses right up against the foundation, especially if the ground has already begun to crack or move away from the foundation. If the soaker hose is too close, water can flow into cracks and pool underneath the foundation and  cause additional problems.

What is a proper foundation watering schedule?

You want to water more during the hot, dry summer months as opposed to the cold, damp winter months. The goal is to create a constant moisture level year round.

In the summer months you are going to want to water every night for a couple hours each night. It’s best to water in the evenings so as not to loose water to evaporation.

There is a fine line between too much water and not enough. You want to keep the soil below the surface damp and not too soggy or dry.

You can use a screwdriver to test the soil. Just stick the screwdriver in to the ground in a few different locations around the house. Water more if it comes out dry and water less if it comes out caked in mud.

One more thing to take in to consideration are the trees and shrubs around the house. A large tree can remove as much as 150 gallons of water from the ground a day. If you have any large trees within 10 feet of the house you will want to add soaker hoses around them as well. Remember the exception to the watering restriction also includes trees or shrubs within 10 feet of your home.

Have a question? As always, We are here to assist.

If you have any questions regarding the set up or function of a foundation watering system please use the comment section below to post your question and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

And remember, if you would like a free evaluation and estimate for us to do the work for you, we would be more than happy to do that as well.

David Lambrecht
david@homerepairdfw.com

 

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4 Responses so far.

  1. ken says:

    I did not realize how bad it could be, although here in north Mississippi we are not nearly as bad off, and additionally where I am staying was originally the bottom of a large pond, and before that the area was a swamp of some sort, so our water table is still faily high.
    Anyway informative article and very helpful. Thanks ken

  2. Craig says:

    Great Information David, I am definitely saving your information for future reference. I really didn’t know a tree could soak up that much water “wow”.

  3. Thank you for the comment Ken. Yes, that is a totally different scenario than here in North Texas. I guess that type of soil condition presents another foundation issue entirely.

  4. I knew they soaked up some water but didn’t realize it was that much either until I started my research for this article. Pretty amazing. Imagine having several large trees around your home. Thank you for the comment Craig.

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