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What To Put Around Foundation Of House?

You’re about to lay the foundation of your new house. Now you’re wondering about the best material to use for this project. We researched this concern for your convenience and here’s what we found.

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Different material options are available to use to cover house foundations. Some ideal choices are:

  • Stone
  • Gravel
  • Concrete
  • Steel

Take note that each material mentioned above has its distinct benefits and drawbacks. Continue reading as we talk about these options in greater detail. We’ll also tackle a way to cover a house’s foundation properly as you go through this post.

Decorative stone cladding used for covering the house foundation, What To Put Around Foundation Of House?

What Is The Best Material To Put Around House Foundation?

Take note that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ material that you can put around a house’s foundation. Each property has its specific needs. Study those requirements first before finalizing your decision.

Flat rocks converted to a short manmade wall

Still, certain materials have properties that can be ideal to place in particular home setups. Some excellent candidates are:

Stone

Pebble stones for a decorative pathway

Property owners can choose among different stones for their foundations. For example, bout is a tough stone with volcanic origins. It also has various configurations and color options to meet the needs of different properties.

Home owners may also select among different applications that fit their foundations’ demands, such as:

  • Cobblestone: Expensive, durable, and may provide additional curb value to properties.
  • Bedded: Typically ideal for flat surfaces
  • Flagstone: Has a relatively geometric design providing stability for properties with parallel configurations.

Like other materials used to cover foundations, stone has its unique advantages and shortcomings.

For instance, it has a relatively high bearing capacity with reasonably good weather resistance. However, it can be quite challenging to use to cover foundations with distinct designs.

Gravel

Don’t confuse gravel with stone as the former is a crushed version of the latter. Gravel manufacturers also often mix this material with sand.

Properties may take advantage of gravel beds to encircle foundations.

Doing so should provide the area with adequate drainage, preventing moisture-related issues like mold and mildew growth. This option may also help reduce the risks of basement floods as it directs water away from the location.

Another advantage of using gravel to cover a foundation is it’s not a usual requirement to use special tools and heavy equipment to install and maintain.

So it can be a reasonably inexpensive option for homeowners that want to secure their foundations without breaking the bank.

On the other hand, gravel may not be a good choice for carrying the weight of relatively heavy houses. If paired with heavy rains, the compact sand mixed with the crushed stone may loosen, making the house settle.

Concrete

Concrete is a construction material usable in different applications like creating driveways and covering foundations. It comes from a combination of cement and certain aggregates, such as shells, sand, and brick chips.

Choosing concrete to cover a foundation can reduce or perhaps eliminate most of the flaws presented by other materials, particularly stone.

Concrete also has a high durability with little to no maintenance required. Plus, its non-combustible trait makes it an appropriate choice for houses located in hot climate locales.

Despite its toughness, concrete is often not a flexible material. It can be prone to cracks and breaks if exposed to natural events like earthquakes.

Also, some concrete may use soluble salts as aggregates, increasing the risks of efflorescence production.

Remember, you should use the correct type of cement for the installation and repair of foundation covers.

Steel

Generally, steel is an alloy made by removing oxygen and other impurities from iron. Then, manufacturers combine it with carbon, manganese, and other components to form the durable material.

If used to cover a foundation, steel can promote different benefits. One advantage is its high strength, which can be comparable to concrete.

It’s also usually easier to install as compared to concrete, reducing the amount of time and effort for the foundation covering job.

High-quality steel can also be quite flexible. Pairing that characteristic with its ruggedness can make steel an excellent option to secure properties from earthquakes and other calamities.

But it’s important to mention that steel can be susceptible to corrosion if placed without protection.

This weakness can increase the foundation’s maintenance costs. Also, this material is often more expensive than other options, which might not be good for property owners following strict budgets.

How To Cover The Foundation Of A House?

A measuring tape on top of a house plan

Keep in mind that the exact procedure to cover the foundation of a house generally depends on the materials used.

However, make sure that the foundation is clean before proceeding with this job. Otherwise, the dirt and filth buildup may reduce the security provided by the stone coverage. Use a pressure washer if necessary.

Also, the amount of some of the materials needed usually depends on the foundation’s scale. Assess the materials needed for your project’s specific demands to avoid wastage.

Perhaps the last step of the preparations is to keep yourself safe. Wear safety equipment, such as gloves and goggles, to prevent accidents like getting debris in your eyes.

After finishing the preparations, continue reading to know the steps to cover a concrete foundation with stone veneer:

What You’ll Need

  • Veneer mortar mix
  • Hammer
  • Trowel
  • Chisel
  • Grout bag
  • Wire brush
  • Whisk broom
  • Large bucket
  • Drill with a paddle attachment
  • Circular saw (preferably with a masonry blade attachment)

Step-by-Step Guide

Step #1: Mix The Materials

Pour about 2-inch of water into the large bucket. Then, pour and mix the veneer mortar with the water in the container.

Stir well, and add extra veneer mortar if needed. You’ll know when you achieved the right consistency if you stick your finger into the concoction and it doesn’t fill the hole.

Step #2: Cover The Foundation

Start this step by laying as many stones as necessary on the ground close to the property's foundation.

Then, coat the foundation’s walls with the mortar mixture with the trowel. Slightly wiggle the stones to allow the mortar to set, which should take roughly 30 minutes.

Push the stone structure further into the concrete wall after it sets. Clean the construction with a whisk broom and wire brush when you feel satisfied with the results.

Make sure not to leave any uneven surfaces. Cut the unevenness with a hammer, chisel, or circular saw.

Step #3: Secure The Coverage

Fill the grout bag with the mortar mix. Use this tool to fill the joints and crevices on the stone coverage.

You may also add a colorant to the grout to achieve a natural look. Also, ensure to follow the mortar manufacturer’s instructions during the sealing process to create a proper seal.

Check out this type-S mortar mix on Amazon.

You may also watch the video below for an alternate way to complete this project:

At this point, you might also be thinking about changing the color of your house’s foundation.

Is It OK To Put Plastic Sheeting Around House?

Plastic is typically not a good idea to use to cover a house foundation. This particular material can trap ground moisture, making the foundation susceptible to problems like mold growth.

How To Keep Soil Away From The Foundation?

Extended rebars popping out from the concrete foundation for concrete pouring

Adding plants around a foundation may help keep soil away from its perimeter. Aside from that technique, other methods you can try are:

Install Downspouts And Gutters

Downspouts and gutters can help channel rainwater away from the soil surrounding your home's foundation. Take note that rainwater can erode the soil, which might otherwise ruin the structure's stability.

Check out these downspout and gutter extensions on Amazon.

Watch the following video to learn how to install a downspout to your gutter:

Install French Drains

A French drain functions similarly to a downspout and gutter. But instead of installing it on a roof or ceiling, you dig this drain in offending areas around your yard.

French drain pipe

Strategic placements of this trench can help channel water and moisture away from the soil near the foundation, preventing the earth from ruining the house’s construction.

You may also add extra protection to the French drain like a water-permeable fabric. That way, the drain should last reasonably long and it might even resist strong weather conditions.

Check out this French drain protective textile on Amazon.

Final Words

Decorative stone cladding used for covering the house foundation

Property owners may use different materials like stone, gravel, concrete, and steel to cover their houses’ foundations.

It’s important to identify and understand each option’s pros and cons. Doing so should provide the lots and their foundations with proper stability, structure, and other advantages.

If you found this post helpful, check out these great articles:

What Color Should You Paint the House Foundation?

What Kind of Cement to Use for Foundation Repair