Over the years, one thing that we have learned in talking to various homeowners is that there are quite a few misconceptions when it comes to foundation repair. Like any other myth out there, these are usually derived from misinformation being spread by those who don’t understand the full story. Sometimes, foundation repair myths are even the result of unreputable companies who have dishonest business practices or don’t do the work the right way.
That’s why we’re here to set the record straight. The last thing that we want is for you to make important decisions in regard to your home’s integrity that is based on false information. You deserve to have the proper information at hand as you are making choices that will impact the overall wellbeing of your home.
In order to help you understand the truth about foundation repair, we’re sharing—and debunking—the most common 5 myths.
1. Anyone Can Do Foundation Repair
One of the most common myths that we hear in regard to foundation repair is that it doesn’t take a specialized pro to do it. We talk to homeowners who have hired a local “handyman” (even though they didn’t specialize in foundation repair) and even homeowners who have taken a DIY approach—and more often than not, these attempts fail miserably.
Even worse, we believe, is when so-called foundation repair companies get called in for the work and prove to be unreputable. This is something that personally frustrates us as it brings down the entire reputation of the industry and can make it difficult for homeowners to know who to trust.
It’s simply not true that anyone can do foundation repair work. The fact that we frequently get hired to fix mistakes that others made debunks the idea that the work is easy to do or doesn’t require a specialist.
Sadly, when people fall for this myth, they often wind up paying extra to have a true professional fix what should have been done right the first time.
2. Foundation Repair is Always Expensive
There’s no question that foundation repair can be expensive. But that’s certainly not always the case. This myth has been perpetuated by those who have in fact had expensive work done. We’re not saying that extensive solutions are never required. Certainly, there are cases where expensive repair work is absolutely necessary.
But not always.
And that’s important to remember. After all, a key reason why homeowners often put off an inspection or repair work that should have been performed sooner is because they assume it will cost a lot (we’ll get to that next). And sometimes that makes it cost more than it has to. There are times when fixing a problem promptly can keep costs down by repairing it before it gets worse.
3. Putting Off Repair Work is “OK”
Similar to the last myth, this is another financially motivated misconception that we hear. It’s quite common to put off repair work and assume that’s OK—but it’s really not. You see this occur from both homeowners who suspect there’s an issue but are putting off an inspection as well as homeowners who have already had an inspection, are certain there’s an issue, but are putting off the repair.
Both are worrisome.
That’s because foundation problems and waterproofing issues never get better with time. In fact, most of the time, they get worse. You could be costing yourself extra money and headaches by assuming it’s OK to wait instead of just getting the problem fixed.
4. Foundation Problems are an “Older Home Issue”
It’s quite common for homeowners to believe that if they live in a newer home, that they can’t possibly have foundation issues. But that’s simply not the case. When a home is built, the soil is dug out to place the home’s foundation. Digging out this much soil tends to loosen the remaining soil surrounding it—soil that has slowly compacted over many years. After the foundation is set, contractors will attempt to tamp down the replaced dirt as best as possible but the soil will likely be looser than it once was—leaving the area potentially prone to water problems or foundation settlement.
It’s simply not true that new homes don’t have foundation problems. We have been out to perform work at enough new homes to be able to debunk this myth as well.
5. Filling Cracks is a Simple Fix
When a lot of homeowners think of foundation repair, they automatically think of crack repair—and a lot of times this is all that may be needed. However, there are plenty of cases where there is a greater issue at hand which also needs to be addressed. In these cases, the cracks are only a symptom of a larger problem and fixing them is a lot like putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound. It’s not going to fix the larger problem that also needs to be addressed.
Don’t fall for the myth that crack repair is a fix-all solution. Sometimes it can be—but it’s important to have a reputable and thorough contractor out to inspect your home who will be able to tell you if there is more going on.