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awdblazer 09-23-2012 09:24 PM

watering foundation
never heard of this before
father in law said i should be watering my foundation cause he said the dryness will cause cracks in my foundation?

joecaption 09-23-2012 09:41 PM

You need to go back and edit your profile to include your location.
Some parts of the US have been having big problums with drought causing the clay soil to shrink and it can crack the foundation.
For sure 99% of foundations the goal is to keep the water away from the fondation not add more water to it. So just because he's watering his does not nessaseraly mean you need to water yours unless your starting to see some signs of damage of the ground around it looks all cracked and dryed out.

MNewquist 09-23-2012 09:49 PM

My family in Texas water their houses as they are built on floating slabs. As they do not have foundations to help resist the shrinkage of the heavy clay soils in the summer they house could shift otherwise. I have not heard of water the foundation with deep foundations as you get in the Midwest to resist frost heave. You have a bigger problem in the Midwest with cinder block foundations cracking and bowing from frost pressure in the winter.

awdblazer 09-23-2012 10:07 PM

winnipeg, manitoba, canada

joecaption 09-23-2012 10:21 PM

And where does your father inlaw live?
My point is if he's in lets say Texas and your in Canada it does not mean your going to have trouble if you do not also water yours. Even a differant part of town can have totaly differant soil and conditions.

GBrackins 09-23-2012 11:47 PM

is this a recently placed concrete foundation, or one that has been there for some time?

awdblazer 09-24-2012 06:49 AM

how was built in 1950

GBrackins 09-25-2012 09:14 AM

got me on the watering foundation then. I thought if it were recently placed concrete maybe until it curred. hopefully someone else can chime in

Mort 09-25-2012 09:28 AM

^^^ That's the only reason I can think of for watering it. It's called wet-curing, and is usually used for slabs. As the concrete cures, it gets "thirsty," and requires a moderate dousing of water to keep it from shrinking more than necessary. It isn't normally done for footings, either. Just isn't necessary.

If its been cured since the 1950s, it isn't going to shrink.

TRUEPRO 09-26-2012 01:33 AM

Iv heard of "misting" slabs to help cure or wetting a finishing broom/brush to help finish in the summer heat. Thought it was a joke when i heard of "watering a foundation"

Canarywood1 09-26-2012 03:40 PM


Originally Posted by awdblazer (Post 1016103)
never heard of this before
father in law said i should be watering my foundation cause he said the dryness will cause cracks in my foundation?

And he's right if your foundation is in a clay area,and your in a region that is in a drought.

"The problem with clay is it has a high propensity to do what's called desiccate," geotechnical contractor and co-owner of Atlas Restoration Chris Heintz told NBC Chicago. "And that means, when the water evaporates out of it, it shrinks."
When the clay foundation shrinks, the house sitting atop the foundation moves with it. This can affect the house's structure and alignment.
The problems caused by the shifting earth can take from $5,000 to over $50,000 to fix.

SeniorSitizen 09-26-2012 04:47 PM

Watering the foundation is somewhat of a misnomer when in actuality the yard needs to be watered or at least several feet from the structure in all directions keeping soil moisture in the 20 percent range at least. And where one lives makes no difference since it's possible to have several classes of soil within a square mile.

I know of a house that not only the soil and brick veneer has big cracks but the drywall has cracks a 1/4" wide in some areas running diagonally across the walls. Yes, it can be a serious expensive problem.

Daniel Holzman 09-26-2012 05:11 PM

Clay soils which are prone to shrinkage and expansion with changes in moisture content of the soil are known as sensitive clays. Only certain types of clay soils are sensitive. Unfortunately much of the southern U.S. has sensitive clay soils, and this is a particular problem in Texas, Louisiana, parts of Colorado, and several other localized areas.

If your house is built on sensitive clay soils, it is important to keep the moisture content of the clay relatively constant, which is often attempted by water the foundation soil during droughts. This is not as simple as it sounds, since it is necessary to evenly water the foundation, and getting water under the center of the house may be difficult or impossible, unless a watering system was installed at the time of construction. Watering of typical clay foundations (non-sensitive clays) is not necessary, and watering of soils during normal climatic periods (non-drought) is also not necessary or recommended.

I have not idea if your particular location has sensitive clay soils, and I have no idea if you are in a drought. Unless both of these conditions apply, I do not recommend watering the foundation.

Canarywood1 09-27-2012 10:43 AM

I personally know people in Iowa,Wisconsin,Illinois,and Indiana that are having trouble with their foundations related to the drought in the midwest,and have heard that people in Missouri are dealing with the same problems,so apparently it's a wide area thats affected

ptarmigan61 09-27-2012 11:44 AM

I live near Winnipeg, and we have had a near drought this summer. Most of the soil in the Red River Valley has clay; some parts more than others. The River Heights neighborhood, for example, has both unstable soils because it was once marshy (silt and silty clay), and expansive clay.
My yard has cracks in it that you could turn an ankle in.
Watering near the foundation is not uncommon around here. I have seen people do it, I have done it, and I have heard foundation contractors give this advice.
Hope this helps.

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