CODR News

Jan 16, 2018

Foundation Upkeep

The last thing that any home owner needs is problems with their foundation. Any home large or small, new construction or old, can develop problems with the foundation. You want to prevent any problems from arising in order to dodge thousands of dollars in repairs, so here are four tips on how to keep your foundation in check.

Keep the perimeter of your home free of pooling water.

One of the biggest problems but easiest to spot and fix. Look for any major pools of water forming against your foundation. Check around gutters downspouts and also on side of your house that are on a high side of a hill. If you find any trouble spots fill them in with topsoil and level them sloping away from your house. Pooling water can soak the soil around your foundation, causing large amounts of pressure and cracking. Also if there is much water and it can soak though causing a multitude of other issues.

Check the downspouts of your home.

One of the easiest things to neglect is the gutter system of your home. Make sure they are free of clogs and flowing correctly from your gutters. You also want your downspouts pointing away and downhill from your home in order not to attribute any excess water to the perimeter of your house. A good rule of thumb is to check your gutters twice a year.

Keep your foundation hydrated.

Foundations need a little bit of moisture in order to not crack and erode. One way of keeping your foundation properly moisturized is to landscape or at least add mulch to the entire perimeter of your home. Mulch holds in moisture and keeps the soil next to your foundation well conditioned. This comes in handy during dry seasons when there is less rainfall. Mulch helps keep what water that is there retained in the soil below.

Be conscious of trees planted near the foundation.

Trees pose two different problems for foundations. 1. Trees roots can cause erosion or put unnecessary pressure on the side of your foundation. 2. Trees can pull moisture away and too much of that can dry out your foundation and cause cracking. The minimum distance for trees to be planted form the home is 20 feet. To also protect your roof from damage, it is recommend not to plant tall trees near the home at all. As the saying goes, “its not if a tree will fall, its when!”

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Referral Program

The winter season is in full swing and frozen pipes can cause some costly problems. Frozen water can cause pipe bursting which can be a painful repair. Here is what to do to prevent your pipes form freezing and what to do if they do happen to freeze.

Keep the water running

The easiest trick to remember is to keep your faucets dripping when it gets cold. Even if it doesn’t keep your pipes from freezing, it will lower the pressure in the pipes so they don’t burst if they do freeze. Also, keeping the faucet open will help water flow to assist thawing if they are frozen.

Air Flow

To keep your interior pipes from freezing, open up the cabinet doors so air can flow around them to keep them warm. For pipes under the house, wrap them in a layer of foam to keep them from freezing drafts. Keep garage door use to a minimum if your water supply is located in the garage. Make sure where the pipes enter and exit the home is properly sealed. Improper sealing will let hot air out and cool air in. Also seal exterior faucets off with an insulating hose dome to keep them warm in winter.

Thermostat

During the winter months make sure to keep the temperature in the house regulated during all hours of the day and night. Also, if you are going away during the winter months then keep the thermostat at a temperature that will keep the pipes warm enough so they won’t freeze. Make sure all areas of your home are properly insulated and heat isn’t escaping. If the snow is melting on your roof then that means that your ceiling isn’t properly insulated and heat is escaping through the roof.

What to use to thaw a frozen pipe

If a pipe slows to a trickle or stops all-together then you may have frozen or burst pipes. Once you have found the source of the problem open up the faucet to allow water to flow. Then, use any of the listed methods to apply steady heat to the frozen section.

An electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe.
A plug-in hair dryer
A space heater (make sure no flammable substances are near)
An incandescent heat lamp
DONT use any open flame tools.
Apply heat until water flow completely comes back. If you are unsuccessful then contact a licensed plumber to take care of the problem. ... See MoreSee Less

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