For a lot of homeowners, their home is the largest investment of their family’s treasure. They expect their home investment to increase in value and help send their kids to college or pay for their expenses in retirement. Unfortunately, foundation issues can deal a blow to your structural foundation and your financial future by lowering the value of your home. Do you suspect that you will soon have to deal with your home’s foundation repair? We’ve got seven quick tips to help you deal with that.
What causes foundation problems? Most residential foundation repairs result from problems that start with your soil. The soil may have been poorly compacted. Your house may sit on soil that has erosion or expansion problems, which means the soil expands or contracts with the amount of moisture in the soil. Sometimes the soil may have too much organic material in it or the site may have an overloading issue. All these issues may result in ground instability on which your home foundation sits.
Recognize these seven signs that your home may need foundation structure repairs.
- Cracks in walls. Tell-tale cracks in your walls at the ceiling joints or at the base are a sign that your foundation struggles in unstable soil. They usually start at the base of the foundation and reach higher levels the more the foundation worsens. You may see the cracks in internal or external walls.
- Bowing or leaning walls. Leaning walls are another sign that your foundation has shifted in your unstable soil or that your soil swell exerts enough pressure on your walls to make them bow in toward the center of the room.
- Leaning chimney. A chimney that leans away from the side of your home is another indication that part of your soil base is moving away for some reason.
- Sloping floors. We probably associate sloping floors with very old buildings where the soil has settled. The floor settling does not have to make you feel like you are walking down or up hill, though, to mean there is a problem. A toilet tank that looks slanted against the wall is enough to make you call a professional for his assessment of the situation.
- Porch pulling away from foundation. A porch that is no longer attached to the home’s foundation is a sign that part of your soil is sinking lower than its original level.
- Cracks in garage walls or corners. Whether you have an attached garage or detached garage, cracks in the walls or at the corners indicate a shifting of the garage stabilizing columns.
- Doors and windows that stick. You may think sticking windows and doors are a sign of weather warping wooden tracks or an entire door but it can also result from a shift in the foundation that causes a frame misalignment so that it is no longer level, or square.
If you recognize any of these signs, call a professional foundation repair specialist. Your home may need underpinning with piers that requires the expertise of a professional repairman who knows how to push piers deep into the ground through your unstable soil and into the bedrock. Then, the repair specialists will lift your home on the piers to stabilize your foundation.
To read about drought causing foundation repairs in North Alabama, read thewhnt.com October 2016 article entitled “Extreme drought causes home foundation cracks across the Valley.”
If you want to talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. Structural Repair and Renovation is a certified general contracting firm led by structural/civil engineers who provide a high level of customer service and expert workmanship. Let us help you protect your home.