water drain

How to Maintain Your Catch Basin

Catch basins are often an afterthought for many homeowners. However, the catch basin plays a vital role during storms and heavy rainfalls, preventing flooding and capturing debris. Neglected catch basins can lead to flooding, which can negatively impact your home’s foundation. For this reason, we recommend that homeowners in the Dallas-Fort Worth area clean out their catch basins on a regular basis.

Catch Basin Cleaning

Area drains and catch basins are designed to accept a certain amount of debris along with the water. The debris drops to the bottom and the water level rises and enters the exit tube. If they are not cleaned regularly, they will eventually fill with debris and clog the line. It is a good idea to pop the lids and scoop out the debris as often as once a month.  After cleaning the debris, you can wash the basins out with water and fill them to test that they are flowing water properly.

Catch basins collect rain and storm water and release the debris buildup into the municipal sewer system. Basins are placed in areas prone to collecting standing water. This prevents flooding that may affect soil conditions. Water absorption causes the soil to expand and contract, in turn causing home foundations to shift. Flooding is one of the primary reasons foundation repairs are needed in the first place.

This is precisely why catch basin cleaning is crucial. If too many solids accumulate, the water draining tube becomes blocked.

Catch Basin Drainage Repair

Catch basins should be cleaned when the interior is filled one-third of the way with solid debris. For some areas, the maintenance may be as often as once a month. If you notice water overflow, nearby pest infestation, or an excessively damp yard, then the basin may require a professional drainage system repair. Depending on the foundation, soil type, and current condition of the basin, this may include additional solutions, such as:

  • Gravel-heavy trenches to redirect the water
  • A sump pump installation
  • Soil contouring for better water flow

Don’t wait until a backup occurs to call in a drainage repair expert. Taking preventative steps to improve your drainage system before a problem arises not only saves you money, but helps promote the long-term health of your home foundation, while also reducing environmental risks.

Catch Basin Maintenance for Property Owners

There are steps you can take on your end to keep the basin in good operating order. This doesn’t eliminate the need for professional cleaning, but it does keep the basin in acceptable condition in between servicing.

While basins can accommodate some level of debris, never actively dump trash inside. This includes all waste products, such as pet waste, cooking oil, or grease. Such garbage will not make its way to the treatment facility and may instead end up in nearby lakes and rivers.

You should also regularly check the grate to be sure there are no obstructions that may prevent the unit from accepting water. About once a month, you should check how full the basin is with debris. A simple visual check may not be possible due to the grate being in the way. A solution around this is to stick a broom into the opening and see how deep it’s able to go down.

Catch basin maintenance is part of being a responsible property owner. Foundational repairs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area may also include drainage solutions to improve the basin’s efficiency. Contact Align Foundation Repair to determine if your property can benefit from drainage repairs or installations.

Landscaping and Foundation Repair

7 Landscaping Tips That Will Protect Your Foundation

Come spring, homeowners’ attention naturally turns to landscaping. While plants and trees can improve the appearance, value, and appeal of your home, if done properly with some foresight, landscaping around your house foundation can actually protect your investment.

The pros at Align Foundation Repair recommend that before you head to the nursery or home improvement store, you should consider the following tips first. This will ensure that your design will not lead to unwanted foundation damage, which could lead to costly repair.

Checklist for Landscaping Around House Foundations

Here are seven tips for proper landscaping around foundations:

  1. Plant trees away from the foundation. The root systems of trees can be as large as the branch systems above the ground and can grow under your foundation, causing damage and bringing unwanted moisture seeking roots.
  2. Make sure you leave some of the foundation exposed. It may be unsightly, but it’s important to leave a few inches visible so you can inspect it regularly and make sure that it’s not buried in moisture.
  3. Watch out for drains or outlets. If there is a drain in your yard, it’s there for a good reason. Covering it with plants can restrict drainage which contributes to foundation damage.
  4. Improve your gutter system. Use gutter extensions to push water at least five feet away from your foundation. Underground downspouts can be installed to carry water further out. Gutters should be cleared of dirt and leaves; clogged gutters lead to excess water, overflow, and pooling water. Also, check for any holes, gap, or leaks while cleaning your gutters.
  5. Mulch your flower beds. Mulch retains moisture and will be beneficial to your plants and your foundation in the summer months by preventing the soil around your property from becoming too dry. Exceedingly dry soil can harm your foundation by causing movement.
  6. Make sure flower beds slope away from your foundation. It is critical to check the grade on your Dallas, Fort Worth property and landscaping to make sure water can’t pool around your house. We recommend having a 9-10” drop for the first ten feet around your home to keep moisture from accumulating under your foundation (a slope about 3-5% away from your foundation). Without a proper slope, your foundation can experience erosion.
  7. Water evenly in non-landscape areas. If only one section of the yard is landscaped, the soil on that side will expand because it’s likely to be watered more often. Soil expansion can lead to foundation cracks so it’s best to water your property uniformly. The expansive clay soil in the Dallas, Fort Worth area affects landscaping and you should protect your foundation from issues like increases in moisture or too little water. Use deep-rooted plants; shallow-rooted plants could erode over a short period of time.

Talk to the Dallas Foundation Repair Experts

Choose Dallas foundation repair experts you can trust. If you would like more tips for landscaping around house foundations in Dallas, or you’re concerned that your foundation may be damaged, call Align Foundation Repair today.  We can schedule a free inspection and give you even more advice on landscaping, maintenance, and foundation repair in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Hot Weather Foundation Repair

Why Hot Weather Damages Your Foundation

Texas temperatures in summer easily break 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Even when the temperature is in the high 90s, dry Texas weather wicks the moisture from the soil around your house and steals it from your foundation, which causes cracks. Dry weather day after day is a recipe for foundation disaster, and you may find yourself with lasting foundation damage that compromises the structural integrity of your home if you don’t address the problem.

Shrinking Soil

When the weather gets too hot, especially in states like Texas where the daily summer temperature easily reaches above 100, that dehydrates the soil. Since the soil around your foundation is usually moist, it shrinks when it’s dehydrated, moves around, and stops supporting your foundation. The loss in support causes your foundation to crack.

Foundation Cracks

Cement and clay foundations are popular in Texas. Unfortunately, the dehydration hot weather causes in soil also happens to the foundation itself. You’ve seen how cracks form in dry soil. Those same cracks start to form in your foundation when the hot weather wicks too much moisture from it. When they form in concrete slab foundations, that’s a recipe for a sinking, uneven foundation that will eventually cause structural damage to your house.

Sinking Foundations

When cracks occur in the foundation because of dryness and hot weather, the foundation will crack and separate until it finds support again. However far away from your foundation the dry soil has moved, that’s how far the foundation will move until it has soil to rest against again. This causes parts of your foundation and house to tilt in whatever direction the foundation started to fall and sink.

Just Add Water

One of the ways homeowners can combat dry soil and cracking foundation is to water the area around the house. Spend 15 to 20 minutes each day adding water to the foundation. If your area is in a drought, do as much as you’re allowed, but be consistent. As permitted, increase your watering time until you hit 15 or 20 minutes each day. Just remember to keep the soaker hoses 6-18″ away from the foundation.  For those who worry about water costs during the summer, your water bill might be a bit higher, but that’s preferable to a foundation repair that costs thousands of dollars.

Call a Professional

How do you know this damage hasn’t occurred already? Sometimes it’s obvious, but sometimes those cracks are sitting in places you can’t see. Call a professional and ask for a foundation evaluation. When no problems exist, the professional will recommend more measures you can take to make sure your foundation stays intact. When cracks are present, the professional will let you know how extensive the damage is and whether repairs need to happen right away.

The Texas heat is brutal on your foundation, so foundation damage isn’t something to ignore. Call Align Foundation Repair right away for an inspection. If your foundation is fine, start watering it every summer day to make sure it stays that way. If it isn’t, take care of it before the damage gets any worse.