Smart homeowners pay attention to their foundation, as they know it plays a critical role in the longevity of their structure. Perhaps you have recently started to notice changes with your foundation, but you don’t know if it needs to be addressed immediately. How do you determine if you’ve reached the point of no return? Learn more about your foundation to understand when home repairs are necessary to preserve the integrity of your home foundation.
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When to Repair Foundation
Over time, the soil beneath the home contracts and expands due to changing moisture levels. Changing soil creates an unstable base for the home and causes settlement to occur, which eventually will need to be addressed. Many new homeowners believe that foundation repair is not something that they must do.
However, even newer homes could be suffering the effects of foundation failure. Issues such as construction failure, poor soil compaction, and significant terrain changes can cause a newer foundation to suffer as well.
At the same time, homeowners who have enjoyed many unproblematic years with their foundations are not out of the clear. Foundation repair may be necessary for the future since foundation settlement is a natural process that homeowners must face. Other issues that can exacerbate foundation problems include new construction in the area, changes in weather, droughts, and growing plant roots.
Therefore, when to repair your foundation is not dependent on how old or new your house is. Instead, the deadline for repairing the foundation depends on the nature and extent of the foundation problems.
Identifying Foundation Problems
How bad is it? You might be asking yourself this question if you’ve noticed any problems with your foundation. Perhaps you spotted a crack and are debating if it’s cause for concern. Signs that indicate it is time for a foundation repair include sloped floors or ceilings, doors and windows that have difficulty opening or closing, slanted walls or a visible exterior building slant, water intrusion particularly around crawl spaces, and unusual cracks.
Troublesome cracks include ones located around window and door frames, clustered closely together, unusually large, horizontal, or exceptionally wide. Dangerous cracks, known as dynamic cracks, can continue to widen and spread if left untreated.
You should also inspect the exterior of your home for loose bricks or perturbing parts, such as nail heads. Another indicator of foundation damage is a leaning chimney, as all of these signs point to foundation settlement and shifting. To avoid reaching the point of no return, one thing you must do is regularly monitor any cracks you find. Write down the size and date of the cracks to monitor if they are changing.
It is necessary to call a professional for any cracks larger than 1/16th of an inch wide, though you may choose to monitor smaller cracks on your own to see how the situation unfolds. However, it’s always smart to play it safe and have any worrisome areas evaluated to avoid having problems worsen.
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Determining Degree of Damage
An untrained eye will likely have difficulty determining how bad a crack is and when a sign of foundation damage will be harmful. That’s why it’s always helpful to book a professional evaluation as soon as foundation damage warning signs are noticed.
Though there is no set deadline as to how quickly foundation problems need to be handled, ignoring a problem can lead to costly repairs.
In extreme cases, complete foundation replacement might be needed to rectify serious foundation damage problems. Leaving suspicious cracks untreated could severely impact the structural security of your building, so it’s always wise to err on the side of caution. Cracks in the wall could comprise the load-bearing capability of the structure, leading to dangerous damage.
Additionally, signs such as difficult to open windows and doors, uneven floors, and gaps above cabinets might indicate issues with the soil. If that is the case, then professional help will be needed.
However, other issues, such as water intrusion, could likely be fixed with a new drainage system and may not require foundation repairs. Or perhaps it’s due to plumbing issues, which is often covered by insurance. Overall, it’s best to contact a professional to determine the extent and nature of the damage.
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Best Time for Repairs
Whether you suspect a foundation problem or know something is wrong, there comes a time when you must do something. But is there a superior time of year to make necessary home repairs?
The answer is not really, as different times of the year offer different advantages for foundation repair. The cooler months offer a harder ground and a marginal increase in foundation stability, making it a preferable time of year to observe and monitor damage. The wet and warm months make cracks more visible, as water damage becomes more apparent. This makes it easier to assess damage in some cases, as foundation damage is often more obvious in the rainy season.
The reality is that in some cases, foundation repairs can’t wait for the “ideal” circumstances. Fortunately, foundation repairs can be performed year-round with maximum results in every season. Ask yourself, how bad is it?
Can the problems withstand unpredictable weather? For greater Los Angeles area residents, the answer is often no, since earthquakes are constantly on the horizon. Therefore, the best time for foundation repairs is as soon as possible.
The longer the homeowner waits to address the problem, there will be a greater extent of damage and subsequent repair cost. In conclusion, it’s best to play it safe, book a complimentary home inspection, and get started on securing your structure!
Why Choose Us?
At California Foundation Works, we strive to keep homes safe by attending to one household at a time. Our customizable and flexible foundation repair solutions allow us to tailor our repairs to fit the exact needs of our customers. We work within your budget to deliver premium services at the most competitive price on the market. From the initial consultation to the final touches, we’ll be there every step of the way for full communication and updates. Call now to get started on your home repair or renovation journey!
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