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Using A Soaker Hose 
To Protect Against Foundation Movement 


  The main advantage to using a soaker hose or other foundation watering methods is, strangely enough, to prevent excess moisture from getting up and under the slab. Most foundations are poured during the summer when the soil is already somewhat dry. The soils under the foundation, and to a lesser extent, in a crawl space is intended to stay constant. When soils start to pull away from the foundation it allows rain water an opportunity to run directly into the soil next to the foundation. This allows the soil to become moist and to be wicked further up under the slab, swelling the soil and pushing up the slab in the middle. Now the center is pushing up and without the foundation moisture, the perimeter tends to roll slightly giving the illusion that  the foundation is falling and needs piers. At this point, the truth is, the center needs to dry out and come down.  By keeping the soil from pulling away from the foundation you are protecting the slab from upheaval, the number one cause of foundation movement in areas of expansive soils. That being said, here is how to do it most effectively.




Today’s lesson will be soil hydration for areas of expansive soils with extreme weather swings from wet to dry. Hydration must be correctly maintained, during hot dry peroids, to provide a steady support for your home foundation, which of course provides support for the rest of your home.

The first step in proper hydration is proper equipment. Proper equipment consists of enough soaker hose to surround your area of concern. Your area of concern may also include the patio, driveway, sidewalk, swimming pool and free standing buildings that are supported by the expansive soils. Proper soaker hose should include a restrictor in the female end to allow a controlled amount of water to enter the hose. Soaker should be placed flat on the ground at point where water is introduced to the system. A short section of regular garden hose may be hooked to the faucet to bring water to ground level.

Soaker should be placed approximately 8” to 12” from the structure. Soaker hose should provide enough moisture to keep soil, between soaker and foundation, slightly moist.  Wet is too much, dry is too little. Slightly moist! If at any time soil begins to pull away from the structure, turn up the system! Getting muddy? Turn it down.  In order to make system easier to design and implement you may use Y splitters, you may connect more than one section of hose and you may use timers to control the turn on and off and length of cycle. Be aware and check system regularly. Keep soaker hose as flat as possible.

Do Not’s:   Do not place soaker next to foundation.  Do not place soaker closer than 8” to structure.  When air condition or other objects prevent 8” distance, go farther out rather than closer in. Do not go between house and fence, go under fence.Do not bury soaker. Do not allow water to run to point of standing water. Do not allow selected areas to be wet while other areas are exposed to extended drying.  The number one thing to remember is this is not NASA we are not trying to put a man on the moon. If you over do it or under do it or forget to do it your home will not collapse…. However the better you work the plan.. the less likely you are to have structural foundation failure. If you have questions email or call me. If you email please include a phone number. Most questions can be addressed best by voice. My number 817-308-8186.  My email

Note: Sprinkler systems are usually designed to provide adequate moisture to protect your home foundation during normal seasonal weather. Extended droughts and during water restrictions soaker hose may be needed. Supplement with soaker hose during extremly dry peroids or during water restrictions as allowed. Soaker hose should not be confused with any type of watering devise that has holes which allow water to run freely. Soaker is black, round and porous to the point that liquid will “sweat” from the hose when pressure is applied. See picture below.


Used correctly soaker hose can go a long way toward preventing or even reversing foundation movement. Used incorrectly it can contribute to the damage of your foundation.

The principal is even distribution of water around the foundation, hydrating the soil during dry spells and droughts.

The use of soaker hose, however, is only a portion of the care that is needed in maintaining the proper soil volume under and around a typical residential or small commercial foundation.

The type and placement of the soaker hose also plays a very large part in protecting your homes foundation in North Texas.

Each home or building is unique in its design, landscaping, soil configuration and drainage conditions. Because of this uniqueness, each installation should be designed to best serve the property.

Part of my service is educating my customers on the proper type and use of soaker hose in conjunction with drainage, landscaping and other factor that affect foundation movement.

People pay me to help them successfully prevent or deal with foundation problems. If I save you from buying one un-needed pier you have made money. It's a smart move and cheap insurance. I will be your advocate, your check and balance.


With over 150 foundation contractors in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, getting three bids give you a one in fifty chance of getting the best job at the right price. I can help you beat those odds.

Please explore my site for more foundation information.

Please email your comments about my service and site.

Richard Rash, Foundation Consultant

Richard Rash
Foundation Repair Consultant
Grapevine, TX 76099
Phone: 817-308-8186
Fax: 817-540-4049