Maintaining Your Home in Dry / Drought Conditionsby Kerry Rigdon on 09/05/13
Don't forget to water your....foundation?
When the weather gets hot and dry it is normal to water the yard and garden, but many homeowners fail to keep the soil around the foundation watered as well. It seems counter-intuitive to put water in an area most homeowners try desperately to keep dry to avoid the dreaded flooded basement, but letting the soil around the foundation get too dry actually can lead to deep soil cracks that will allow water to seep even further down to the grade beam, or the soil under the exterior walls. This water can cause the soil to lose some of its load bearing capacity...which may lead to some or all of the foundation shifting or moving. Trees and shrubs constantly pull moisture from the soil, including the soil around your foundation. During dry spells, it may be necessary to water the foundation soil daily.
The goal is to try and keep a constant moisture level...just keeping the top few inches damp is not enough. While you don't want to flood the soil, often times a soaker hose placed 8-18 inches away from the foundation is needed. First, it is recommended that you inspect for any foundation cracks and repair them before they get worse, and before you begin watering the foundation soil to avoid any water entering the walls. More information can be found on the University of Missouri Extension webpage and you can link to it HERE.