Soaker Hoses And Your Home Foundation

House foundations can buckle and shift dramatically with dry, drought conditions. The use of a soaker hose around the perimeter of a home can keep the soil moist and the foundation less susceptible shifting.

For many homeowners, the summer months bring days, weeks, and even months of endless sunshine and brief, if not absent rain showers. While homeowners water to protect their lawn, trees, plants and shrubs, they often forget to water one of their most important investments: their home.

By forgetting to care for the foundation of their home, homeowners run the risk of suffering with sinking and cracking foundations that lead to uneven floors, cracked walls, as well as doors and windows that no longer open and close properly. These home disasters sometimes result in structural damage that can lead to a decrease in the property value of the home.

While slab foundations are most susceptible, pier-and-beam and ranch style homes are vulnerable as well.

And it's not simply because the soil is dry. It has more to do with the seesaw effect that heavy winter rains/snows and drought-like summers have on the soil. When the soil is extremely wet, the soil expands and lifts the foundation. When the soil is extremely dry, it contracts and the foundation sinks. By having proper draining for the wet months and keeping the soil moist in the summer, you lessen the impact that these two conditions have on your foundation.

Your dry soil problems can be solved or slowed with the use of a soaker hose. Soaker hoses are made from recycled old tires and plastics. A soaker hose consists of a perforated tubing that appears to "sweat" with water after the faucet is turned on. The soaker hose provides a consistent but not flooding supply of water that helps supply moisture to gardens and plants, and, more importantly, moisture to the soil surrounding home foundations.

Soaker hoses can be attached to any outdoor faucet and need to be left on longer than you would normally leave a sprinkler on so that you ensure enough water penetrates the soil. For best results, place soaker hoses around the perimeter of the house, 8 to 18 inches outside the foundation. You can snake them around plants and shrubs in flowerbeds to provide water not only to the soil but to the nearby vegetation as well.

Soaker hoses can be purchased at your local hardware store and retail establishments like Wal-Mart and Home Depot. They also come in a variety of lengths and can be connected together to accommodate different homeowner needs.

Many homeowners leave their soaker hoses permanently placed around their homes and bury them partially under mulch. This offers them a convenient and year-round tool for watering.

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