A homeowner should never put off needed residential foundation repair, as a weak and damaged foundation leads to interior cracks along walls, floors, and ceilings, and results in water leaks and resultant mold growth. However, note that a home tends to settle into the ground simply due to age, weather, and soil conditions, and this doesn’t necessarily result in foundation damage. How do you know when your home needs residential foundation repair versus natural settling?
Settling happens when
a home sinks into the ground over time. Your home needs residential foundation
repair when settling, soil expansion and contraction, excess moisture, and other
conditions compromise the structural integrity of the foundation.
Only a structural engineer or foundation repair contractor
in your area can determine if your home needs foundation crack repair,
underpinning, and other such work. To know when it’s time to call a foundation
repair company near you, note some vital information about settling as well as
signs of residential foundation damage. Remember, too, that if you’re unsure
about damage to your home’s foundation, call a foundation repair contractor for
an inspection just to be sure and so you can get those repairs done quickly!
When Do You Need
Residential Foundation Repair?
Not every hairline crack in a foundation needs repair, but
you also don’t want to overlook signs of severe residential foundation damage,
thinking that only large cracks, chipped areas of concrete, and other blemishes
need fixing. Consider when your home needs residential foundation repair and
why it’s vital that you call a foundation repair contractor when you notice any
of these issues inside or outside your home:
Fractures are the most obvious sign of needed
residential foundation repair. A fracture is a crack more than a quarter inch
wide or cracks that include outright gaps in the foundation.
Cracks, gaps, and fractures along a home’s
chimney or a sinking or crooked chimney also indicate that a home needs
Foundation upheaval refers to a home’s
foundation lifting upwards rather than sinking. Soil pressure often results in
foundation upheaval; soil pushing onto the home squeezes it so much that the
foundation actually lifts up rather than settles down. This soil pressure tends
to create cracks and other foundation damage. If you notice mud and dried dirt
above your property’s soil line, the foundation might be upheaving.
Interior doors that stick, scrape across the
ground, hang crooked, or move out of position often indicate a damaged
foundation. When the home’s foundation is damaged and the home shifts out of
position, interior doors tend to move with the structure! As floors shift,
doors might then tend to scrape, hang open, become too snug, or fail to closely
properly at all.
Kitchen and bathroom cabinets and countertops
pull away from walls when a house shifts and settles. If you notice small gaps
between cabinets and countertops and the walls behind them, it’s time to call a
foundation repair contractor. Cabinets doors might also begin to hang open or
As a foundation becomes weak and a house shifts
and settles, floors and walls might sag or settle as well. You might notice
uneven surfaces; things might start to slide across shelves or pictures
suddenly look crooked. You might also notice floorboard beginning to creak and
What Is Foundation Settling
and Do You Need House Leveling?
Homes settle into the ground over time and this process is
quite natural. While a foundation might show some hairline cracks during this
process, it’s vital to consider if you notice that one side of your house
becomes lower than the other or if you seem to notice the interior of your
House leveling often involves literally lifting up one side of the house and then adding beams or other supports to strengthen the foundation on that side, or both sides. This restores the home to a more secure position while also reducing the risk of future foundation damage.
What Are Your
Residential Foundation Repair Options?
You have more options for residential foundation repair than
you might realize! Only a residential foundation repair contractor near you can
note the best choice for your home, but note some vital information about these
options so you know which might be the right one for your house.
Steel piers are a favorite choice for residential foundation repair as these vertical beams require less landscaping displacement and less mess overall. The type and placement of steel pier used for your home requires lots of technical configuring but this just ensures that they will last for decades and provide your home the support it needs.
Helical piers are beams with rounded supports placed along their length. Helical piers are an excellent option for porches, columns, or structures with vinyl siding, or any lightweight construction that doesn’t require the strength of steel piers.
Concrete piers are strong and solid and often more budget-friendly than steel piers but they create far more mess and landscaping displacement, as a foundation repair contractor needs to remove quite a bit of dirt to pour the piers.
High-density foam foundation repair is simple and easy to install. A foundation repair contractor fills a checkerboard grid with the foam which is then allowed to dry. High-density foam foundation repair is an excellent choice for lightweight structures and for offering minimal support where needed.
What Happens If You
Neglect Needed Foundation Repair?
While no homeowner looks forward to the hassle and cost of
home foundation repairs, it’s vital that you never put off needed fixes to your
house and especially its foundation! Consider some reasons why you want to
ensure you schedule residential foundation repair when needed, without
Water seeps into the home through cracks in the
foundation. A damp basement is more than uncomfortable; it can lead to
dangerous and unhealthy mold growth. Mold eats away at drywall and a home’s
wood framework and can lead to serious breathing disorders, skin sensitivities,
and other health concerns.
As said, cracks along interior walls and floors
are a sure sign of needed foundation repair. Putting off those repairs allows
cracks to get worse! Cracked floorboards are dangerous for walking while cracks
along interior walls leads to gaps that let in outside heat and cold and let
out your interior heating and cooling.
Cracks and gaps along a home’s foundation allow
insects, rodents, and other pests into the home. These pests can cause severe
damage to a house, eating away at a home’s framework and electrical wiring, and
are also very unhealthy and downright unsafe for humans and pets.
Doors and windows tend to stick or refuse to
close when a home sinks and settles. Eventually those doors and windows might
get outright stuck so that they need to be forced open or closed, creating a
safety issue for the home and becoming a tremendous inconvenience!
While very rare, a home’s foundation can
outright collapse, allowing the house to sink with it. A sunken foundation is
very dangerous to occupants and costly to repair; a home might even need
demolishing! The cost of residential foundation repair is far cheaper than demolishing
and rebuilding a home or fixing a collapsed foundation.
The structural stability of a home is an
important part of its overall value. A strong foundation protects or even
increases that value whereas a damaged, cracked foundation as well as resultant
interior damage can decrease a home’s value rather easily.
How Much Does It Cost
to Repair a Foundation?
Only your foundation repair contractor can tell you how much
it would cost to repair a foundation in your area, as those costs will depend
on the extent of damage, the type of repair chosen for your home, the
accessibility of your home and foundation, and if there is any added work
needed to keep a home’s foundation secure. For example, a contractor might
suggest your property be graded or leveled, to direct water away from the
foundation and protect it from heaving and buckling.
How can you decide if
you need residential foundation repair?
The best way to get an honest evaluation of your home’s
foundation is to hire a structural engineer. An independent or freelance
structural engineer has no vested interest in telling you how to fix your
home’s foundation, but will just provide you a report of its overall condition
and foundation damage.
How do you prevent
foundation damage in the first place?
The best way to prevent foundation damage is to have your property’s
soil conditions and grading checked by a landscaping engineer, to note if the
soil has too much or too little moisture, and if it’s putting pressure on the
home’s foundation as well.
How long do
residential foundation repairs typically take?
Most residential foundation repairs are completed in less
than a week but the extent of damage and work involved, as well as the size of
your house, determines how long it will take. If you’re concerned about the
length of repairs, ask your residential foundation repair contractor for a
guaranteed completion date.
There are so many benefits to foundation repair, but going about it can often be perplexing... That's why we've created this FREE e-book resource to help homeowners understand common foundation terms, questions, and mistakes to avoid. It's all explained right here! Simply fill out the form below to access the foundation repair guide and receive your FREE, no-obligation quote!