A home’s foundation is usually not a particularly exciting part of buying, selling, or living in a house. Generally speaking, the average homeowner knows very little about foundation repairs. While it may not be very flashy, the home’s foundation may arguably be the most important feature. The foundation holds up the structure that contains your kitchen, living room, and all of the furniture and belongings residing in the space.
Dealing with foundation problems is something no homeowner wants to deal with — but, it doesn’t have to mean the end of your family’s life in your dream home or your sanity!
Navigating the issues that come with an unwanted foundation related problem can be challenging and stressful, causing delays, unnecessary expenses, or inadequate work.
To bypass the points above, here are 5 common misconceptions about foundation repair and how to deal with each:
The problem is only the home’s foundation
Damage to a home’s foundation might not just be the concrete or structure itself. Instead, this could be the symptom of a greater problem — where your home is located.
Unfortunately, some home’s are constructed on poorly compacted soil. This results in settling and sinking, which results in more expensive repairs like the installation of foundation piers. Settling is most common in humid parts of the country, where soil under the home might be susceptible to getting soaked and allowing the house to sink.
Unless you determine the real reason behind the foundation problems and solve them, a homeowner will continue to experience issues. Hiring experts in the field to inspect the issue with the foundation is a great first step for any foundation repair.
Cracks tell you everything you need to know
Cracks are an important first sign that something is wrong with the structure of your home. A discolored crack is typically a sign of a leak or moisture trapped in the walls, while larger wall cracks can indicate that the home is settling unevenly with more weight leaning towards one side of the home.
But cracks are only a surface level indication of an issue, and they do not give enough information to get to the heart of the problem. If cracks appear, getting a qualified structural engineer or licensed contractor to inspect the area and pinpoint the cause before you take action is vital. An expert opinion can save you from paying for unnecessary extra repairs that don’t solve the real problem.
Drainage doesn’t affect your foundations
If you’ve put off installing gutters or ignored the puddles that accumulate around your home after a heavy rain, don’t be surprised if a foundation issue pops up down the line. Without proper drainage and space to move away from the house, water can saturate the soil around the foundations and accelerate them settling further into the earth.
Foundation problems make a home a bad investment
If you’re planning to flip a home, discovering a foundation problem isn’t necessarily the end of your plans. The seller should offer a discount on the purchase price to account for the existing problems. If an expert has evaluated the issue and deemed it fixable, you can invest a little knowing the repair costs that are needed and still end up with a tidy profit.
On average, sellers will discount 20-25 percent off the selling price of the home, while fixing the problem can cost as low as 10 percent, meaning you still come out ahead. However, before taking this kind of risk, make sure you have a good idea of what is causing the issue and how much fixing it will cost.
Signs of a foundation problem can be ignored
In some cases, cracks are simply a sign of a home settling and not a sign of a larger issue. They might appear near the top or bottom of walls but remain the same size for years and present no real issue. But in other homes, the cracks will continue to spread as the issue gets worse. Finding out the difference as soon as possible will help you figure out a plan of action before any problem gets worse.
Moving quickly pays off
When a foundation issue surfaces, homeowners should be prepared to take action quickly. Issues with a home’s foundation can persist over long periods of time, especially when they are a result of environmental issues such as the moisture levels in the soil. The longer you delay foundation problems, the worse and more expensive it will get. The more expensive the problem becomes, the harder it will be to sell the house and the more you’ll be squeezed on closing costs like realtor fees.
Live comfortably knowing the structure beneath you is safe and secure! Find a professional and start a conversation as soon as you see the first signs of a foundation problem. The best way to deal with the problem is by tackling these repairs head-on and in a timely manner.