June 18, 2024

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Is your home's foundation causing you concern? Foundation problems can be the source of major structural issues, whether you're a homeowner or potential buyer. It's crucial to grasp the implications and your available solutions.

Here are the key questions often asked when it comes to foundation issues:

  • Are foundation cracks commonplace? • What's the cost of necessary repairs? • Will insurance cover foundation damage?

The good news is that not all foundation problems demand a complete replacement. If you suspect foundation issues, here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Self-Examination: Begin by inspecting the foundation for visible issues.
  2. Professional Inspection: It's essential to have a foundation repair expert conduct a thorough examination of your home.
  3. Consult a Structural Engineer: If needed, seek guidance from a structural engineer to identify the best course of action.

Identifying Foundation Problems:

Foundation problems can lead to significant structural issues. Being able to recognize common signs of foundation stress is crucial, and they can manifest in various ways:

Exterior Warning Signs: • Wall rotation • Separation around garage doors, windows, or walls • Cracked bricks • Damaged or cracked foundation • Displaced moldings

Interior Warning Signs: • Misaligned doors and windows • Cracked sheetrock • Cracks in the floor • Uneven floors

Problems like bulging floors, cracked walls, and doors that won't close are all indicators of foundation distress. Approximately 60% of homes built on expansive soils experience foundation problems. These issues often arise when only a portion of the foundation shifts, causing cracks and other damage.

The leading cause of foundation problems is water. Variations in moisture cause soil components to swell or shrink, leading to movement under the foundation. Several factors can make a property more susceptible to foundation damage, including:

  • Construction on expansive clay • Improperly compacted fill soils • Poor drainage around the foundation • Extreme seasonal changes in the area • Plumbing leaks beneath the home • Tree roots encroaching on the foundation • Natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, or droughts
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Buying a House with Foundation Issues:

If you're considering purchasing a home with foundation problems, keep in mind that the extent and nature of the issue can vary. Some foundation problems are easily correctable and cost-effective, while others may require a complete foundation replacement, incurring substantial expenses.

It's crucial to have the property thoroughly evaluated by a foundation contractor or engineer. They can provide an estimate for repair costs, helping you make an informed decision.

Repair Methods for Foundation Issues:

Foundation repair is a specialized field, and it's essential to choose the right repair method. Some common methods include slabjacking and hydraulic jacking (piering):

  • Slabjacking: Involves pumping grout beneath a slab or beam to lift it to its original position. • Hydraulic Jacking (Piering): Uses steel posts and hydraulic jacks to lift and stabilize concrete slabs affected by shifting soil.

The choice of repair method depends on the specific distress being addressed. It's crucial to understand the cause of the problem and select the appropriate solution.

How to Hire a Repair Contractor:

Foundation work is complex and not suitable for DIY projects. When hiring a repair contractor, take these precautions:

  • Educate yourself about repair methods and ask questions. • Choose a contractor whose repair methods are evaluated by ICC-ES (International Code Council Evaluation Services). • Be aware of additional costs if the repair goes beyond a specified depth. • Recognize that landscaping may be affected by the repair. • Pay close attention to warranties or guarantees and choose a reputable company that can provide long-term support.

Don't take foundation issues lightly; they can lead to substantial damage and compromise your home's value and safety. Seek professional guidance and address the problem promptly to avoid further costly damage. James Greer Foundation Repair is here to provide the solution to your foundation concerns. Your home's safety and stability are our top priorities.