The infrastructure of a home is critical, and the foundation is the core component. The foundation has two main purposes: to withstand dead load and live load.
Dead load refers to holding up the weight of the structure, which is generally a constant load. The live load, however, concerns the people living in the building and all of their stuff.
The weather is the biggest factor that can be tough on the base of your home or business. When the weather is too dry, the water evaporates out of the soil and it can shrink, causing the foundation to settle.
With a wet climate, the ground can shift and become unstable. Over saturation of the soil can also put hydrostatic pressure on the foundation, resulting in walls that bow or lean in and eventually crack.
The top signs that your foundation is in trouble are mentioned in this article:
Top 10 signs of Foundation Problems
- Uneven Or Sloping Floors
- Cracks In Exterior Or Interior Brick
- Displaced Or Cracked Moldings
- Wall Rotation
- Cracks In Walls Or Bowing Of Walls
- Cracks In Floor, Floor Tiles, Or Foundation
- Doors & Windows Won’t Open Or Close Properly
- Separation Of Doors, Windows, & Garage Doors
- Spaces Between Wall And Ceiling Or Floor
- Walls Separating From House
Read more here: Top 10 signs of Foundation Problems
If you see some of the above-mentioned issues, you need to contact a company that does foundation repairs. There are a number of ways any foundation problem can be fixed, so be sure you check into what each company has for alternatives.
Some solve the problem with external methods, but some use a less invasive approach, utilizing wall braces and anchors. The next video highlights the general manager of a foundation repair company discussing what to do if you see any issues, and especially when buying a home:
When you are home shopping, foundation problems should send up a lot of red flags. If repairs have previously been done, find out what company did them to be sure they are still in business.
In the above video, he mentions four documents that a home buyer needs to acquire from the current owners:
- The original contract
- The scope of work
- The engineer’s report
- The warranty
This documents are essential when negotiating terms for purchasing the home. The cost, time and stress to fix foundation cracks could be a deal breaker.
Any cracks smaller than 1/4 inch aren’t usually a problem, but the cost of bigger repairs are significant. It does depends on where you live, as most construction costs are generally higher on the west and east coast.
In the following graph from Home Advisor, it shows the average price as well as the potential low and high amounts. You can also enter your own zip code and get prices in your location:
When you find evidence of foundation issues and are looking for someone to do the repairs, be sure to ask around for referrals, check online reviews, and get several estimates. The length of time a company has been in business can also indicate whether they have the knowledge and experience to manage your home foundation issues.