Being a homeowner is one of the most significant investments a person can make in his or her lifetime. That’s why it’s paramount that your home remains in top condition.
Unfortunately, foundation issues can arise over the years and threaten the structural stability and subsequent property value of your building. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that vigilant homeowners content with foundation issues before they have the opportunity to worsen. Today we are going to explore how to recognize foundation damage and whether or not foundation repair or foundation replacement is the right solution for your structure.
Causes of Foundation Damage
Unfortunately, some cases of foundation damage are the result of improper initial installation, but other situations can help indicate when you should be on the lookout for foundation damage warning signs.
Soil is one of the top culprits when it comes to foundation damage. Soil is very sensitive to weather and moisture changes and is constantly expanding and contracting along with changing precipitation, which can cause severe structural damage.
Foundation settlement occurs when the soil shrinks too much and cannot support the weight of the full structure, leading to serious stability problems.
Meanwhile, expansive soils can equally cause damage. Excess moisture in the soil can cause the walls of the building to buckle and bow as the soil beneath the home absorbs moisture and puts increased pressure on the foundation walls. Therefore weather and climate both play large roles in determining the health of your foundation.
How To Spot Foundation Damage
Before you decide what to do with your foundation, you need to identify a problem in the first place. To spot early signs of foundation damage, be sure to perform routine inspections both inside and around the perimeter of your home. Indicators of foundation damage include walls that are bowing, buckling, and sloped, and an overall sloped appearance to the home.
Large cracks, cracks clustered closely together, horizontal cracks, and unusually wide cracks are often indicators of potential foundation damage. Additionally, signs such as crumbling brick and water intrusion often point to foundation failure. Also, be on the lookout for windows and doors that have difficulty opening and closing.
A home is only as secure as its weakest point, which makes it paramount to spot and correct any foundation damage issues as early on as possible to keep the home and its occupants safe.
Considering Multiple Factors
Once you have spotted any signs of foundation damage, it’s crucial to contact a professional contractor immediately. Delaying receiving professional help will cause the damage to increase, ultimately causing more harm to your home and limiting your options.
When it comes to determining the right choice, factors such as causing the least amount of disruption and obtaining the best deal are important to consider. In many scenarios, as long as foundation damage is reported early on, repairs should suffice.
However, working on your home’s foundation should be a once in a lifetime ordeal. This means that to implement permanent solutions, in extreme cases of foundation damage, a replacement will be needed.
Foundation replacement is by far the more disruptive solution and is almost always a costlier option. To completely replace the foundation, heavy equipment is used to entirely excavate the soil surrounding the home.
To do so, everything surrounding the home, such as porches, gardens, stairs, vegetation, and more, will have to be removed. After this is done, the house is lifted onto temporary support beams using a hydraulic jack so that the slab floor and foundation walls can be removed. Then, the new foundation is built and the home can be carefully lowered back into place, with the soil being replaced. In addition to costing more money and greatly disrupting the yard, foundation replacement also requires significantly more time than repair.
On the other hand, foundation repair offers considerably less money, time, and disruption. Foundation repair offers several different solutions depending on the individual needs of the home. Foundation wall anchors, for example, are ideal for foundation walls that are buckling.
Meanwhile, foundation piers provide a better solution for cases of foundation settlement. Another option would be to install a sister foundation next to the damaged foundation to provide appropriate support.
The good news is that foundation repair often takes just a single day to complete, and it can be done in all seasons. The variety of different solutions means foundation repair allows for more budget flexibility, while the quick turnaround time means your foundation problems can be addressed immediately.
To determine which solution is better for the home, a professional evaluation will be needed. To lower your chances of requiring a foundation replacement, never ignore any warning signs of foundation damage.
The extent of the damage, the repair techniques needed, and the number of specialized materials used help determine the ultimate choice and cost. When it comes down to it, however, foundation repair is almost always the recommended route.
Unfortunately many cases of extreme foundation decay stem from issues with the soil, which means that foundation replacement will not solve the true source of the problem and will be extremely costly and disruptive.
On the other hand, foundation repair solutions aim to attack the problems at their source to guarantee lasting foundation success by implementing new solutions.
Has your foundation begun to crumble?
Is the structural security of your home not what it used to be?
Don’t wait for your home to become dangerous to live in. Call California Foundation Works today so that we can send a professional contractor over to provide a thorough home inspection. We’ll identify any weak spots and implement a custom solution that will permanently rectify your home’s foundation issues. Call today to get started!
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