The foundation of your home is among the essential parts of its structure. When a foundation becomes weakened, it presents a severe hazard to those living inside the house. While getting these problems taken care of is ultimately the best solution, it can be an unexpected expense. You may think that just living with that crack in the wall or a settling foundation is a better option, and even though it may be cheaper in the short term, in the long-run it will likely be much more costly. Learn more about how to know if you need foundation repair and if it will pay off in the end.
Do You Need Foundation Repair?
The most obvious sign of a foundation problem is one or more cracks running through the floor. However, did you know that there may be one or more hairline cracks running through your concrete floor during regular seasonal temperature changes? These are known as seasonal settlement cracks and shouldn’t concern you too much. However, if there are deep cracks that sink into the ground, you may be looking at a structural issue. The only true way to know is to call an expert to check it out.
Other signs of needing a foundation repair might not be so apparent as a crack in the floor. An uneven floor may be a sign that there are issues under the surface. Cracked walls may also show up, and those cracks will be noticeable. If you have a chimney and it becomes tilted, that’s another sign that you may need to get an expert to investigate your foundation problems. If any or all of these are present, your property is a prime candidate for foundation repairs. The most common telltale signs of structural damage to a foundation are:
- Visible displacement in expansion joints: These exist to allow for the building to expand safety in warm weather, but if large spaces start cropping up, you should take notice
- Freeze-board separation: Freeze boards shouldn’t be widely separated. If you can see a rift between them near the top, it’s a good sign that your foundation is unstable.
- Doors and door frame shapes: When a foundation warps, it leads to door frames changing. If your doors become harder to close or no longer fit the frames, it’s probably due to a bad foundation problem.
- Water bill inconsistencies: This method only applies to areas that have an active meter. If there is a significant increase in your water bill, it’s probably because of the foundation movement’s impact on pipes. The pressure is likely to create leaks within your supply.
If you notice any of these signs at your home, call a professional for an inspection right away.
A Cost-Benefit Analysis
Foundation repairs vary depending on the extent and complexity of the job. However, dealing with the problem sooner rather than later may actually end up saving you money. Foundational damage gets worse over time. As more stresses are imparted on the already shaky foundation, this pressure can lead to further warping. When repairs are done, this excess damage will serve to increase the cost of the service.
What are you weighing the cost of this repair against? Typically, you’d be looking at your resale value. A house with a damaged foundation will go for less on the market. Some buyers specifically look for homes with issues like these to buy, but financing is another issue. Many mortgage and loan companies refuse to fund the purchase of property that displays apparent structural damage. The reduced cost of the home coupled with selling it may result in turning the house into a proverbial “white elephant,” stuck maintaining it but unable to get anything out of it.
The Best Long-Term Solution
Short term fixes for foundation problems will create more problems than they will solve. You might think it’s a simple DIY job to cover over the crack with a bit of putty or cement, but that doesn’t fix the problem. Foundation issues are structural. They deal with the core of the construction and need expert input to figure out what’s wrong and repair it. Doing it yourself is out of the question. The most you can do is make cosmetic patches to have the house looking as though nothing is wrong with it. However, if you do this and decide to sell it, buyers may ask for an inspection before they put money down.
The best, most robust solution for most homeowners is to rely on professionals to perform structural repairs. The diagnosis and treatment for this issue depend on a combination of expertise and skills. Adams Foundation Repair and Waterproofing has teams dedicated to dealing with these problems for our clients. Act now before your doors stop closing and your walls start leaning inwards. While prevention is better than cure, in this case, you can’t avoid it, and the cure needs professional attention. Contact us today.