Are you a property owner with a penchant for the timeless appeal of older homes? You’re not alone!
These properties are rich in character but can come with their unique set of challenges, especially when it comes to their foundation. Protecting the foundation of your older properties is crucial, not only for safety and comfort but also for the longevity of your investment.
In this article, we’ll guide you through practical steps to prevent foundation issues, ensuring your charming properties stand strong for years to come.
What is Considered an “Old Home”?
An “old home” typically refers to houses constructed before the 1960s. These residences are often valued for their distinct charm and character, setting them apart from more contemporary structures.
However, it’s important to note that such homes may be more susceptible to foundation issues due to their age. Thankfully, with the expertise of a seasoned foundation repair contractor, the majority of these foundational concerns can be effectively resolved relatively quickly.
What Are Some Common Signs of Foundation Trouble
When your house’s foundation has problems, you might notice some of these things:
- Cracks in the walls, ceilings, or floors.
- Doors and windows that are hard to open or close.
- Floors that feel bumpy or slanted.
- Zig Zag cracks in brick walls or around stones.
- Porches or chimneys leaning or pulling away from the structure.
- Spaces where the floors or ceilings don’t touch the walls anymore.
- The trim around doors or ceilings pulls away from walls.
If you see any of these signs, it might mean there’s something wrong with your house’s foundation and that you should contact a professional repair service for a more thorough assessment.
Common Foundation Issues In Old Homes
Two big problems with old houses are called differential settlement and hydrostatic pressure:
Parts of the house’s foundation might sink down into the ground faster than other parts because the ground underneath isn’t the same density all over, or water makes some spots softer than others. When this happens, the house might start to lean a bit, you might see cracks in the walls, or doors and windows might get jammed and not close properly.
Hydrostatic pressure is when water in the ground pushing against your house’s foundation. Old houses often don’t have good ways to keep water away, so when it rains a lot, the water that soaks into the ground can push against the foundation walls. This pressure can make the walls bend or crack, which can make the house less safe.
What Can You Do?
If you live in an old house, the best way to protect your asset is to keep a vigilant eye out for signs of potential foundation damage. Look around your house for any signs of leaning, cracking walls, or doors and windows that don’t fitting together right. After a heavy rainfall, see if water hangs pools in certain areas around your house.
If you see any of these signs don’t worry, call a professional who knows about fixing older houses. They can conduct a more thorough inspection and help make sure your house stays safe and sound.
Tips for Preventing Foundation Trouble
Keeping your home’s foundation in good shape is crucial for the overall health and safety of your structure. Foundation problems can lead to serious structural issues, but with the right care and attention, many of these issues can be prevented. Here are some tips on how to avoid foundation trouble:
The most important aspect of foundation care is managing water around your home. Ensure your gutters and downspouts are clean and in good repair, directing water at least 5 feet away from your foundation. Consider installing gutter guards to prevent clogging and use downspout extenders or splash blocks to effectively channel water away from your home.
Plants and trees can add beauty to your home but be mindful of their placement. Large trees should be planted at a distance equal to their mature height away from your foundation to prevent roots from encroaching on the foundation.
Similarly, keep shrubs and other plants at a safe distance to avoid root systems from affecting the soil moisture levels around your foundation.
Regularly inspect all your plumbing fixtures, pipes, and appliances for leaks, particularly those in or near your foundation. Small leaks can lead to big problems by altering the soil moisture around your foundation.
Soil Moisture Consistency
The soil around your foundation should maintain a consistent moisture level to prevent expansion and contraction, which can lead to foundation movement. During dry periods, use a soaker hose around the perimeter of your home to gently water the soil, keeping it from pulling away from your foundation.
Inspect your foundation and the walls of your home regularly for cracks. Small cracks can be normal as a house settles, but they can also indicate more significant issues. Contact a specialist if you’re unsure of the severity of a crack.
Efficient Drainage Systems
If you have a sump pump, French drain, or any other drainage system, ensure they’re functioning correctly. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning and testing these systems, can prevent water from pooling around your foundation.
Taking care of an older home’s foundation is key to preserving its charm and ensuring it remains a safe and stable place to live. Remember, a little maintenance can go a long way in preventing major issues down the line. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure where to start, consider reaching out to the pros.
Granite Foundation Repair Inc. keeps your foundation solid and secure. With our expertise, you can relax knowing your home is in good hands. Don’t wait for small problems to become big headaches—let Granite Foundation Repair Inc. give you peace of mind. Contact us today to learn about our services!