Does your sprinkler system normally take care of keeping the dirt around your home’s concrete foundation moist? If so, beware: Cutting back your weekly watering periods as required by the severe water restrictions in many Midwest locales may have more side effects than just leaving your grass brown. It can crack your foundation.
When the ground around the foundation dries up, it begins to “recess,” or pull away from the foundation. With the loss of that support, cracking can occur.
However, most cities offer exceptions for the use of soaker hoses around your foundation, often allowing up to an hour of “soaking” each day. Combine them with a $40 digital timer, and you’re good to go.
If you can’t already tell from our mention of the Gilmour timer, this happened to us. Though you can find soaker hoses at pretty much any home improvement center or garden/hardware store, we picked up ours (linked below) at Lowe’s for about $12.
You’ll need to measure (roughly) around your home to figure out how many you’ll need. (We needed four.) Remember to add a little distance to your measurements to allow for placing the hose about 6″ away from the foundation. Placing it too close will allow the water to just run into any existing gap rather than soaking in and expanding the soil.
Don’t forget to pick up a few end caps (if they’re not already included) and any connectors/splitters/adapters you’ll need to hook ’em up.
5/8″ x 75′ Soaker Hose [Lowe’s]