A Capillary Break – An Important Part Of Your New Home's Foundation

The most important part of building a new home starts starts in the ground. When you are consulting with contractors to build your new home, you should ask about one very key feature of your new home's foundation.

Ask your prospective builder what measures they will take to keep water and moisture from entering through your new home's foundation. A knowledgeable builder will immediately understand what a capillary break is, and why it is vital for the protection of your home.

What is a Capillary Break?

A capillary break is a barrier constructed at the foundation of your new home. They can be constructed in a number of ways using different materials. The effectiveness of each type of material and the process used, will depend on the area you are building your home.

Regions with more frequent rain, low-lying valleys where moisture is prevalent, or areas close to water will need a more substantial moisture break. Places that have an arid climate, with low to moderate annual precipitation, can use a more basic capillary break.

Capillary breaks can be a granular fill under the main foundation, a waterproof type coating, firm insulation, or a drainage system lined with plastic sheeting. This important first stage in the construction of your home's foundation will be the defense against water and moisture ruining your home.

This protective break is placed under the slab, or lowest part of your home's foundation. It will keep water and moisture from moving into the floors, up through the walls of the home.

Problems in Homes Without a Capillary Break

The floors and walls of a home built without a capillary break will act like a giant sponge, absorbing moisture from the ground. Homes built without a good system in place to stop this from happening will develop moisture related problems.

The problems can range from an unexplained mold and mildew problem in the home, to more serious situations like wood rot. Moisture problems can worsen over many years, causing health problems for the people living inside the home.

4 Guidelines for Capillary Breaks

  1. Install under the main slab, or base foundation of the home.
  2. Surrounding every exterior surface below ground level.
  3. Breaks between all sill plates and different types of foundation materials where wood and concrete meet.
  4. Between footings and the building materials they support like foundation walls and frame structures attached to a slab.

Once moisture problems start inside your home, they are often very difficult to stop. Not installing a good capillary system from the very beginning at new construction can make them almost impossible to correct. Contact a home builder like Bogdanovic Homes for more information.


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