Jacksonville Foundation Repair
Home prices in Jacksonville took a hit well before the rest of the housing market due to the ExxonMobil gas leak in 2006. Despite that tragedy, home prices have been increasing steadily with the rest of the market since the end of the Great Recession, and Jacksonville is still one of the most expensive housing markets in Baltimore County.
Whether you want to maximize your selling price now, or want to make sure your home continues to increase in value in the future, the state of your home’s foundation has a large impact on its value.
What Is A Foundation?
A home’s foundation is the base on which the home is built and it is in direct contact with the soil. It is designed to transfer the structure’s load, or weight, to the soil underneath the foundation while resisting movement. There are several types of foundations including slab foundations, pier and beam foundations, crawlspace foundations, and basement foundations. Newer homes in Jacksonville are likely to have basement foundations.
A good foundation must be tailored to the specific soil conditions of the build site if it wants to achieve its goal of transferring load while resisting movement. In the first few years after a home is built, a certain amount of movement, known as settlement, is normal and is usually not structurally significant. When significant movement continues, it can be a sign that foundation repair is necessary.
Signs of Foundation Problems
Nobody wants to buy a house with foundation problems (and banks do not want to approve mortgages on houses with foundation problems), and it will be difficult to sell your home if it exhibits any of these signs of a bad foundation:
• Uneven or sloping floors
• Cracked bricks or cinder blocks
• Wall rotation
• Cracked or bowed walls
• Cracked floors or foundation
• Misaligned doors or windows
• Cracked or separated moldings
• Spaces between the wall and ceiling or floors
If left unchecked, these foundation problems could result in structural damage. If your home exhibits any of these signs, you may need to think about having your foundation repaired.
The root cause of most foundation problems is simply water. Soil is not a homogenous substance; rather, it is composed of various constituents, each of which expands or contracts in response to variations in moisture. The shifting soil causes movement in the foundation, which ultimately leads to the cracks and gaps in your home.
Foundation Problems in Jacksonville
Ideally, foundation problems could be prevented simply by keeping the moisture level in the soil constant. In Jacksonville, however, that is simply not possible. Jacksonville averages over 40 inches of rain throughout the year, with disproportionate rainfall due to winter and spring nor’easters and summer hurricanes.
The winter snowstorms in Jacksonville are especially problematic. Although Winter Storm Jonas dumped a historic 31 inches of snow on Jacksonville this year, Jacksonville still gets 18 inches of snow in an average year. As this large quantity of snow melts, it causes flooding. This type of moisture variation can cause big problems for foundations in Jacksonville.