What You Can Do...
Many have asked over the years, "What can I do to prevent this happening to my home?" Soil is the leading cause of foundation problems. The drastic fluctuations in the amount of moisture make it difficult to maintain any level of consistency. Soaker hoses and elaborate watering systems have entered the marketplace in an attempt to maintain a level of consistency around the homes' perimeter. Good in their intensions but impractical and costly to install.
The problem with soaker hoses is that the watering of the soil surrounding the foundation takes discipline. Whatever schedule you elect to implement, your efforts must continue without variation. Watering longer on the following day you missed cannot compensate for missing days within your schedule. Often times with the best intensions some do not have the discipline to keep a schedule and discontinue their efforts when the first water bill arrives. Elaborate watering systems designed to monitor the level of moisture around the home are costly. In some instance the cost of installation and maintenance exceed the cost of a permanent repair to a distressed foundation.
The most important thing you can do is maintain a healthy lawn and vegetation around you home. Do not just water the front to keep you curb appeal and neglect the backyard. Ensure that you lawn has ample water and you will have done more than 50% of the population. There are a variety of visible signs that can indicate when watering is necessary.
Look for soil pulling away from the perimeter of your home where the slab meets the ground. If watered regularly, the soil should be snug against the existing slab. Plants and other vegetation directly adjacent to the home will seek out water from underneath the perimeter of the home. Dry beds that may be cracking due to insufficient mulch and water may be an indication that these items may be depleting the existing source of water. Bottom line, keep and maintain a healthy lawn and vegetation to prevent as much as possible the need for foundation repair on you home in the future.