Expansive Soil Around Your Foundation Needs a Soaker Hose in Dry Hot Weather

Summertime brings days and weeks of endless sunshine and brief rain showers. While homeowners water to protect their lawn, trees, plants and shrubs, they often forget to water one of their most important investments: their home.

By forgetting to care for the foundation of their home, homeowners run the risk of structural damage due to sinking and cracking foundations which can de-value your home. While slab foundations are most susceptible, pile-and-beam and ranch style homes are vulnerable as well.

Why is This Important?

The problem with expansive soils is that the expansion rate can vary greatly over a relatively short distance, due to natural variation in the proportion of expansive clay (it is usually clay that does the expanding) in the soil. In other words, part of your foundation may be only slightly expansive, and part may be more expansive.

The objective of using soaker hoses in expansive soil is to maintain a constant soil moisture condition. Expansive soils act like a sponge. As they absorb water, they swell and as they lose water they shrink. Soils tend to dry out (and shrink) during the summer and to absorb water (and swell) during the winter and spring.

The goal of a foundation repair preventive maintenance watering program is to maintain a constant level of moisture in the soil under the house and foundation.

The best way to water a foundation is to place a soaker hose from one to two feet from the edge of the foundation. Placing the hose a short distance from the foundation allows the water to soak into the soil evenly.

Helpful Tips & Guidelines:

  • Always use compression fittings that fit over the hose/tubing as barb fittings that fit inside tend to diminish the flow rate.
  • For even watering, individual lengths of soaker hose should not exceed 100′ in length. Creating a system where a “loop” is created provides for more even water coverage.
  • Water in the morning for maximum water efficiency & plant benefit.
  • Watering deeply three times per week is a good rule of thumb.
  • Soaker hose works best at low pressure. Use a soaker hose pressure regulator to control maximum water pressure.
  • Don’t forget soaker hose is low flow, low pressure. Turn faucet on approximately 1/2 turn.


  • How to use a soaker hose: http://www.ehow.com/how_2204109_use-soaker-hose.html
  • Soaker Hose by Mr. Soaker: http://www.mrdrip.com/moisturemaster.htm
If at any time you have a question or concern about anything having to do with your foundation- don’t wait. Contact us at (919) 806-5232 or fill out the form on our web site. We can help you determine what is the best course of action to take so you’ll know for sure and take the uncertainty out of your situation.

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Ben Brackett, President of Brackett