Does Your Home Have A Foundation Problem?
The foundation is the most structurally important part of your home. Whether it’s a slab, pier and beam, crawlspace, or basement, the foundation is in direct contact with the soil underneath the home and is designed to transfer the weight of the entire home to the soil.
When the foundation shifts, it creates stresses in the structure built on the foundation that can result in structural issues that range from minor cracks and chips to catastrophic damage. In either case, a bad foundation will significantly lower the value of your home.
So how do you know if your home has a foundation problem? Some common signs of a bad foundation in need of repair include:
- Uneven or sloping floors
- Cracks in your bricks or concrete blocks
- Minor rotation of your walls
- Walls that are cracked or bowed
- Warped or cracked floors
- Doors or windows that won’t close flushed
- Moldings that are cracked or separating from the walls
- Gaps between the walls and the ceiling or floors.
What’s Causing Your Problems?
The root cause of most foundation problems is water. Underground water causes soil to expand and contract and shift. The shifting soil can cause the foundation to move. Some movement is normal in the first few years after a home is built. This is a process known as settlement.
But, once the house has settled, the foundation should remain relative static. A good foundation is designed to accommodate the specific soil conditions of the particular build site to ensure that the foundation remains static even as the soil undergoes normal levels of expansion and contraction.
Naturally, proper repairs to a bad foundation must also take into account the specific soil conditions of the area. There are several techniques for repairing a foundation and a professional foundation repair company will be able to choose the repair technique and the implementation of the technique that is best suited for your home.
If necessary, a good foundation repair company will also be able to provide ongoing water management to ensure that the foundation does not continue to move as a result of excess water. Re-grading the soil to slope away from your foundation may be possible. Other possibilities include the installation of interior or exterior water drainage systems, which route excess water around and away from your foundation.