The foundation of your home is arguably the most important feature. If the foundation has problems, so will the rest of the home. The most common problems seen in foundations are doors and windows not fitting properly, walls cracked or crumbling, floors sagging and ceilings warped, soil shifting and water damage, and cracking or crumbling in the foundation itself. These problems can start small but cause incremental damage to your home, reducing its safety, value, structural integrity, but also a lack of efficiency in heating and cooling costs according to these Portland HVAC Pros.
Signs You Have a Problem
Walking around your house, you may notice cracks in the walls or doors not shutting completely. These are easily recognizable signs that there may be a problem with the foundation of your home. To check for other problems, do a sweep of your home. Check all your doors and windows to see if they fit too tightly or too loosely or if they refuse to open or close. This includes garage doors, and if you’re dealing with commercial property, you’ll want to catch this problem fast. Repairs on commercial garage doors can be very expensive, as detailed by a company called New York Gates. Look around both the interior and exterior walls for cracking, crumbling, or water damage. Use a level on your floors and ceilings to look for inconsistencies in the slope, or set a tennis ball down on the floor and see if it rolls significantly in one direction or another. Check the soil around the foundation of your home to see if it is unnaturally wet during a dry spell or unnaturally dry after rain. Look at the foundation itself to see if there are cracks, ruptures or gaps or if it is sagging, buckling or sloping.
How to Repair
Most problems arise from issues with the soil underneath the foundation shifting underneath the foundation. By restoring the foundation to its original elevation through leveling, most foundational problems can be resolved. The two most common methods to repair foundation are piering and slabjacking. Piering is ideal for larger problems, such as the foundation of a commercial building or house. Steel posts are driven though the soil underneath the foundation and hydraulic jacks are used to raise or stabilize the concrete slabs. Slabjacking is used for smaller slabs such as driveways, sidewalks, or decks. Grout or foam is pumped beneath the slab to lift the slab back to its original elevation.
Cost of Repair
The cost of foundation repair varies by your location, as different geographical areas have different soil quality that requires different levels of repair. Cost also depends on how accessible the damaged portion is, the cause of failure, and the method of repair. If the damage is caused by accidental flooding from household plumbing, home insurance may cover the cost of repair. Costs can vary greatly, but they typically run from $15,600-$24,500. This may seem high, but many times the alternative is tearing down the house. By repairing your foundation, you will make your home safer and more stable, as well as increase the value of your home if you decide to sell.
How to Prevent Problems
The best way to prevent foundation problems is to ensure the house is built properly. This is not always possible, but if you are having a home built, be sure to oversee the process carefully to prevent future issues. Before the concrete is poured, make sure the soil has been prepared correctly to minimize shifting. Also ensure the drainage system takes water far away from the foundation of your home. If you buy a home after it has already been built, there are still steps you can take to prevent foundation damage. Water the soil around your foundation during especially dry spells using a water hose to make sure the soil does not crack. During a wet spell, water may pool around the foundation. In this case, create a slope for water to flow away from your home so the foundation does not sink.
How We Can Help
If you are experiencing foundational issues, feel you are in need of repair, or simply want to prevent future problems, give us a call and we would be happy to help!