If you live in the Dallas or Houston, Texas areas, you know the challenges that you face in protecting your foundation and your home or property. Since these areas are built on clay soil, there is an elevated risk regarding the damage that your foundation can encounter due to these conditions.
What can you do to protect your foundation?
If you live in the Dallas or Houston area, you should take any steps necessary to protect your foundation. One thing you should do is to check your foundation regularly. Below is a short list of things that you should look for when checking for problems.
- Horizontal cracks that spread
- Doors or windows that stick
- Cracks in sideways or exterior walls
- Bugs or drafts coming from outside
If you see any of these signs, you should contact a foundation repair specialist for an inspection as soon as possible.
French Drains and How They Can Protect Your Foundation from Flooding
If you live in a floodplain or a flood-prone area, you know the risk that this fact alone poses to your foundation. You can have your home rebuilt into a piling type foundation to improve this or have your house lifted or raised. But there is another solution you may want to look into.
French Drains are a form of weeping tile that is filled with rocks or gravel containing a perforated pipe that redirects the surface water to drain away from your house and avoid creating a pooling effect under your foundation. This one technique can save you thousands of dollars in damage repair to your foundation if installed correctly.
Steps in Installing a French Drain
To install a French Drain, follow these steps:
1. Dig a trench along the outside of your footing.
2. Lay the pipe on the soil.
3. Cover the pipe with at least 12 inches of washed gravel.
4. Lay the filter material over the gravel to prevent soil from clogging the pipe.
5. Use topsoil to fill the foundation that will bring it up to its original height.
HGTV, the home building and repair network, has additional information on how to install a French Drain properly. Make sure to remember to use filter material. Failure to do this step can result in the soil getting inside and clogging up the pipes. This will cause additional problems with your home’s foundation.
French Drains create a system that improves your home’s drainage system so that flood waters and moisture get sent to the exterior and away from your home rather than having time to sit and pool up around your foundation, which causes softened ground and unsteady foundations.
Why French Drains?
We’ve explained what a French Drain is and what it does. Now, why should you consider installing a French Drain in your home? One of the best reasons is that it creates a way to prevent basement flooding and flooding from underneath the foundation of your home or building. Another term for this is “water distribution.” It also helps direct undesirable water from getting under the foundation and decreases ground water pressure.
All of this is good, and it is a necessary thing to do if you live in the Houston area and perhaps even locations around Dallas. The coastal areas as more at risk but Houston and Dallas area residents know from Hurricane Harvey that flooding can occur due to either a sudden hurricane that continues to bring flooding into the area or just normal heavy rainfall that often occurs in Texas.
Should you do it yourself?
There are some websites and instructional videos that show you how to create and install a French Drain yourself. However, this process, though simple in a way, can create a lot of work that can quickly turn into a mess if you don’t plan or have some experience in foundation work.
It is usually better to spend your money on a professional foundation repair team to do the job rather than spend the time to learn the process, gather the materials, and hope that you can get it right the first time.
Many people are very handy with strenuous outside work like this. But getting a professional foundation repair company to handle this type of job is usually better in the long run.
Where to Find Foundation Repair
If you are looking for foundation repair in Houston or foundation repair in Dallas or the surrounding area, look no further than 1800foundation.com. We have been in the foundation repair business for over 30 years. We have a dedicated staff and expert foundation repair specialists who can advise you on your foundation repair issues.
To get started, the first step in installing French Drains is to contact us to assess your situation with your foundation. We can do a free inspection and give you a free estimate when we inspect your property. This will give us an idea of what kind of work you need to be done and we can talk to you about installing French Drains if that is a good solution for you.
If you live in a flood-prone area, you probably are aware of this. What do you do to protect your property from flooding underneath your foundation? Sandbags will only do so much when a flood is imminent. If you take precautions ahead of time such as installing French Drains in your foundation, you will be thankful you took the time to do this before the next flood comes your way.
Disadvantages to French Drains
There are always two ways to look at something. While there are many obvious advantages to installing French Drains for your home or property, there are a few disadvantages, too.
One disadvantage is that you have to do a lot more digging when you install these drains to make room for the pipe that must be laid underneath the ground surface. This requires you to dig up flowers or other vegetation to make room for the drainage system.
Occasionally, you will also have to move or get rid of porches or decks that stand in the way of digging the trench for the drainage system. This is a disadvantage to many people who choose not to install them since it means that they will lose their deck or porch that they like. This is a decision you would have to make once you find out whether you should consider installing the French Drain system in your home.
If you are debating whether French Drains would help you or if you are a viable prospect for these additions, call on us at 1800foundation to help. Our business is to help you preserve and repair your foundation. We inspect and give free estimates, too. So the first step to taking care of your foundation and inquiring about French Drains is to give us a call. Our number is 1-800-368-6328.
Alternately, you can go to our contact page and fill out our online form. Once you do that, we will get back to you at our earliest time and help you to troubleshoot your problem. We can also assess whether your home sits on a floodplain and whether it would be wise to install this type of system in your home.
The key to keeping your foundation in the best possible shape is to inspect it regularly. Think about the area and the ground that lies beneath your foundation, as well as the type of foundation you have. Then consider what the best solution is. If you don’t know where to start, that’s where we come in. Contact us online to start your free estimate. Don’t wait too long to keep your home safe.