A sound, reliable foundation is a requirement for virtually anything of substance. Relationships, jobs and parenting – all require a solid foundation. The same is especially true when we are talking about your home’s foundation. A critical element of your home is a solid, structurally sound foundation. Cracks, moisture, water damage or window and door problems could be indicative of a larger problem.
As a homeowner, it’s important to care for the foundation, and address any situations as they arise, because if you don’t, the results can cost you thousands of dollars, and dramatically impact your ability to sell.
In fact, it’s incumbent on the seller to disclose any issues to any potential buyers. However, if sellers don’t know about any issues, it becomes even more important for the home inspector to do a through inspection. Problems can be minor (especially in the beginning) but sometimes require structural engineers to conduct additional testing and analysis to determine how serious any issues may be.
How Common are Foundation Issues?
Unfortunately, they are super common. In fact, foundation issues are the most common type of property damage. According to the National Association of Home Builders, approximately 34% of home repairs are a result of foundation damage. Also, critically important to note, foundation problems must be addressed quickly and professionally as left untreated, the problem can quickly compound and lead to wall cracks and unstable chimneys.
What Causes Foundation Problems?
There are many elements that can cause foundation damage, and very often a failure one place can result in other failures as well. Here’s a list of the most common culprits.
Most Common Causes of Foundation Problems.
- Poor construction
- Poor soil conditions
- Shifting soil
- Rotting wood
- Water intrusion
- Pipes that are too close to the foundation
- Improperly set footings
- Roots from trees
Signs of Foundation Damage
One sign of foundation damage is water intrusion. Keep an eye out for moisture stains or discoloration on the ceiling or walls, and check for mold growth near windows and doors. If you notice cracks in your walls or flooring, this could also mean it’s time to seek out a professional.
Foundation Repair Options
If you need to have issues repaired, just make sure you get a respected professional to be extremely thorough so that everything (including the cause of the damage) is addressed. In other words, don’t just fix the symptoms of the problem but the cause. Homeowners typically choose either a permanent or temporary solution to foundation repair.
Permanent Foundation Repair
When severe damage has occurred, a permanent (more costly) solution is called for. The damaged concrete is removed and replaced with new reinforced. This necessary repair can run into several thousand dollars.
Temporary Foundation Repair
Sometimes homeowners can get away with the easier fix. Costing less as there is no demo, temporary foundation repairs are often completed by filling with mortar, and waterproofing the soli and other areas.
Information and Resources
Foundation problems can suddenly sneak up. Changes in soil distribution, water infiltration, or even over time, a poorly distributed load can all create foundation issues. The best piece of advice the Chatel Group can give you is not to wait if you suspect or notice anything like cracks or moisture. Having a knowledgeable professional take care of it early and thoroughly is the absolute best move.
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In the meantime, if you have any real estate questions, or are considering buying or selling your home, please contact the Chatel Group for their help!