Sprinkler Systems and Foundation Problems

Most foundation problems aren’t caused by sprinkler systems. If you overwater, though, you may aggravate your structural supports.

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When it comes to waterproofing your home, a sprinkler system may do you more good than you’d anticipate. That said, while watering your lawn keeps your soil healthy, it is possible to overdo it. 

Where’s the balancing point between overwatering your lawn and underwatering it? How can you best keep your soil healthy and your foundation problem-free? 

Should You Water Your Lawn and Foundation? 

On one hand, it seems counterproductive to water your lawn when you’re worried about hydrostatic pressure impacting your home’s foundation. When you think about it, the process makes more sense. 

When the weather dries out and temperatures start to rise, the soil beneath your home will shrink in size. These smaller soil particles won’t be able to take in as much water when it does finally rain. As a result, dry soil is more likely to let the water reach your foundation than soil that’s been kept damp. 

With that in mind, it’s more than worth it to water your lawn with some consistency. It’s up to you to find the balance between underwatering your lawn and overwatering it. While installing a sprinkler system in your lawn won’t ruin your foundation, you may start to see signs of damage throughout your home if you let them run for too long. 

Water Leaking Into Basement
Water Leaking Into Basement

Signs You May Be Overwatering Your Lawn 

Luckily, most lawns will let you know when they’ve been overwatered. Some of the signs that give away an overwatered lawn include:  

Now, if you’re gauging your watering habits by your bills instead of by the state of your lawn, it may take you a little longer than normal to notice you’ve left your sprinkler system on for too long. The physical signs of overwatering, though – including soft patches and an influx of mosquitoes – are difficult to ignore. It’s likely that you’ll be able to spot these symptoms of overwatering before the bill for your utilities arrives. 

If you suspect something’s wrong with your lawn but you can’t identify the problem or its cause, don’t fret. One of the professional contractors working in the Richmond, VA, area can help. You can readily invite an inspector out to your property to assess your sprinkler system and the state of your lawn. These inspectors can also walk through your home and identify any signs of water damage that may be putting your structural supports at risk. Not only will you benefit from this professional insight, but you can also reference the free quote on repair and waterproofing services you receive once your inspection is completed. 

Protecting Your Foundation from Sprinkler Damage 

If you want to take steps to protect your home before reaching out to a professional, you can. Some of the easiest ways to prevent overwatering from impacting your foundation include: 

Clear Out Your Drains and Gutters

You always need to keep your drains and gutters clean if you want to keep rainwater and sprinkler water alike away from your foundation. Whether you’re working with a dry well or with downspouts, be sure to clean your drainage systems at least once a month for the best protection. 

Place Your Sprinkler System Carefully

You’ll also want to keep your sprinkler system at least 20 feet away from the perimeter of your home. While the reach of the water can extend back toward your home, establishing that initial distance will help keep unwanted water away from your foundation. 

Check the Weather 

Note that you don’t have to constantly keep your sprinkler system running. Check the weather before you leave for work for the day and plan your watering schedule accordingly. If it looks set to rain for the next several hours, it’ll be best to leave your sprinklers off, both for the sake of your yard and for your foundation. 

Landscape with Water-Absorbing Plants and Mulch

While some landscaping elements can be more trouble than they’re worth, there are others that’ll help you protect your home. You can invest in a series of smaller plants and create a natural waterproofing barrier between your sprinkler system and your foundation. Just make sure to give the hedges and flowers you plant the room they need to grow.  

Reaching Out for Help 

While there are steps you can take to protect your lawn from overwatering, you don’t have to tackle the task alone. Reach out to a professional in Richmond, VA, for input on your waterproofing suggestions. 

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