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Hot Weather and Concrete Slab Foundations

Posted by Sharon Rosshirt on Monday, June 19th, 2017 at 4:51pm.

Do you have a Concrete Slab Foundation?

We had a beautiful wet spring this year that filled up our aquifers and lakes, and broke the worst of our drought streak.  The beginning of our summer was mild, but, boy, is all that over!  When our summer temperatures go consistently into the nineties and up, and we have extended periods of no rain, it’s extremely important to remember to care for your concrete slab foundation.

Shifting Soils

Many of our homes in this area are built on expansive clay soils, and extreme or prolonged drying of the soil can cause movement that is problematic for even well-constructed slabs. Now that we’ve been without rain for weeks in hot weather, soils are drying and shrinking and cracking, and that means you need to supplement moisture to protect your slab.

How Much and How Often?

The soil around your foundation should be watered to a depth of 12-18 inches every one to two weeks. Experts will disagree (don’t they always?) about how much and how often, but they all agree that consistency is important. Areas, where you have flowerbeds or shrubs, are somewhat buffered against drying out because you are typically watering those areas and the foliage shades the soil. Watering your lawn will not necessarily address the need for water around your foundation. Especially in sections where there is dirt with nothing growing; consider using a soaker hose that you run periodically.  If you have moisture in some areas and none in others, it can cause problems as the soil swells unevenly around the slab.

Water Saving Bonus

This is an excellent use for non-potable rainwater collected in barrels, and if you don’t have any, this would be a great time to invest in some.  They fill up amazingly quickly with even small amounts of rain.

Remember! Consistency over Saturation…

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