July 19, 2016
Issues with your lawn and landscaping have the power to adversely affect the structure of your house. A problematic lawn can disturb the stability of your home’s foundation by creating movement and expansion. Drought, over-watering, and issues with tree roots and bushes can create instability within the soil influencing movement and expansion. Climates with four seasons that experience both heat and intense cold weather like Ann Arbor MI, require a lot of TLC in terms of properly caring for a lawn. The overall health of your lawn and the approach you take to lawn care play a dual role in not only nurturing a healthy lawn but also in your ability to recognize and rectify obstacles with your yard before they become compound problems.
When the landscaping is planted too close to a house, the roots can compete with each other, and the house’s foundation for much needed moisture causing your foundation to settle and sink. When this happens, cracks form in the foundation which can lead to doors and windows that stick. As a preventive measure, it’s best to space deep-rooted plants, trees, and bushes, a small distance from the house.
Overwatering your lawn may seem like an innocent enough mistake, however, if this is an issue that occurs frequently or is followed by a hard rain, you may experience rapid expansion and contraction which can result in shifting and cracking in your foundation. If the lawn is not absorbing the water, it can pool around the foundation leading to movement and cracks. If there are already foundation problems, the issues can become extreme leading to broken pipes and leaks: none of which are good for the overall health of your home.
Under-Watering & Drought
A lawn that is too dry or under-watered can not only lead to bald dry spots but can also result in a dry foundation. A long dry spell can cause the soil to shrink, resulting in the contraction in the foundation. As a result, the foundation of your home may settle creating fractures. Additionally, after a drought, a heavy rain can create rapid expansion, which puts stress on the walls of your foundation. Soil needs to maintain a consistent level of moisture year round. As a preventative measure, healthy soil needs 1 inch of water per week during the growing season. For optimal results, thoroughly water the soil in the morning once a week to prevent evaporation, instead of watering daily. Run a soaker hose around the perimeter of your house at least 6 inches from the foundation and 3 inches deep, this should alleviate excessive expansion and contraction.
Proper lawn care nurtures a healthy yard and prevents problems with your foundation. Water consistently to prevent both over and undersaturation of the soil, even in climates prone to extreme changes in the weather, like Ann Arbor MI. Proper lawn care can not only help your yard to flourish and grow but it can also prevent problematic issues with your foundation.
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