The foundation of one’s home is one of the most important parts. When you were building your home, you may hear your contractor tell you many times that the foundation takes one of the longest to complete. It has to be made sturdy, thereby taking the time and also causing quite a lot in terms of the expense.
This fact alone should show you why it’s very important to protect it. When there are problems or defects in your home’s foundation, especially when it ages, you have to be proactive with solving this problem right away.
Unknown to many, home foundation issues are a common thing. In fact, as much as 80% of home insurance claims are made because of movement in the house’s foundation. In a review of 10,000 structural applications, as much as 25% of U.S. homes will experience some form of structural issues.
If you’re thinking of selling your home with a sinking foundation, don’t do it. It is best to invest in repairing it first rather than dropping your price way below the market value because home buyers will definitely try to low-ball their offer if they know about a sinking foundation. Not only does this lower the selling value of your home, but it can also put you at risk of liability for selling a home that isn’t safe. If the foundation of the home you’re selling suddenly gave up, imagine the damage that would happen.
You also have to address this issue if you want to make your home renter-ready.
That said, those are precisely the reason why it’s important to be aware of the possible defects that their foundation has. This starts with knowing the signs. Here are some of the important things to know about sinking home foundations.
Signs of Home Foundation Defects
There are many telltale signs that can help tell you that your foundation has a problem area. The most common of these is that your foundation is losing its integrity is a crack around the base of your home’s exterior structure.
Some of the critical indicators of foundation defects include:
- Gaps in the wall, floor, or foundation
- Standing water surrounding the foundation
- Wet crawl spaces
- Uneven flooring
- Windows and doors not closing properly
- Widening gaps between the pavement and garage door
- Leakage in and around the fireplace
In newly built homes with concrete slabs, the foundation defects will show around the outer ends of the building’s exterior. In older homes with traditional foundations, the defects manifest inside so it is not unusual to see cracks in the walls, sticking doors, and uneven flooring because the foundation was closed up with a crawl space underneath.
When you’re concerned about any or some of these signs being present in your home, then it’s a wise idea for you to get in touch with experienced professionals, such as the guys from Brightside Home Inspections. Let them get to the root of the problem, rather than doing a DIY.
Beyond just solving the signs, you also want to get to the root of the cause. In doing so, you’re able to have a more permanent solution to the home foundation defects that you experience.
Most Common Foundation Defects
Foundation defects commonly result from water damage because the water is not adequately diverted to drain away from the building’s foundation. Poorly installed gutters can result in water pooling around the foundation. Over time, it causes the foundation to crack and lose its integrity. This defect can cause significant structural damage to both the interior and exterior of the house. To make sure that your home is ready for inspection, you have to address these foundation issues:
Sinking and Settlement of the Foundation
A sinking foundation can be due to soil changes underneath the home’s foundation. This issue can be resolved by installing piers and brackets to prevent the foundation from settling further. As a temporary fix, you can use heavy lift air bags while waiting for further assessments of the home’s structural integrity.
Chipping or Flaking Foundation
Chipping or flaking can result from constant weather and water exposure of the masonry and foundation’s concrete. One of the most effective methods of fixing this issue is by eliminating the cause. Often, a simple repositioning of gutters and downspouts is enough to stop the water from pooling around the foundation. It is also important to consider adding vapor barriers and covering crawl spaces.
Cracking Floors, Walls, and Ceilings
Cracks often signify that there is something wrong with the house’s foundation, which can be sinking, shifting, or settling. Minute cracks can be easily repaired by crack injection. However, massive cracks that seem to progress need a professional inspection. They can better identify the cause of the defect and give recommendations on what approach is best.
Soil changes can cause the foundation to sink. These changes often manifest in sloping floors. In some cases, the use of a brace to support the foundation and level the floor is enough to address the issue.
Window and Door Issues
If you find it hard to close your windows, it could be due to sticking or cracking doors caused by a movement in their frames. This movement is often due to a foundation defect.
Foundation defects are something that should be taken seriously. It can compromise the structural integrity of your home if not immediately addressed. It is best to consult an architect or a structural engineer to help you out.
After reading through this, the next prudent thing for you to do is to inspect your home for any of these defects. If there are any signs that you think might be a problem area, double-check with an expert. That way, the problem gets to be addressed before it gets bigger, or it becomes too late.
While a foundation repair is costly, it’s a worthy investment for a part of your home that is that important. Remember that your home can’t stand sturdy enough and withstand possible problems when the foundation is faulty.