Your foundation is one of the most important parts of your home. In fact, every other part of your structure, including the roof, relies on a strong foundation.
If your foundation starts to deteriorate, effects can spread all throughout your home. It’s not unusual to see warped doors, cracks in interior walls, and new problems with the roof.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths out there about foundation repair. Many people are not sure what to do when they suspect something might be amiss with their foundation. To protect their investment, homeowners should understand the basics of foundation health.
Here are the top five myths about foundation repair and the facts you need to know.
MYTH 1: Foundation Issues Are Expensive to Fix
The cost of foundation repair depends on the extent of the damage. When foundation issues are diagnosed and repaired quickly, costs can be minimized. Experienced contractors can offer you high quality at a reasonable price – but there is a caveat.
The longer foundation issues are allowed to develop, the more expensive it becomes to fix them. Likewise, a project that would normally take a day or two can end up stretching on a week or more. That means greater inconvenience on top of your growing bills.
While it may be okay to save up for a few months to get your repairs done, it’s always best to be proactive. If price is a limiting factor, talk with your foundation repair team about financing.
MYTH 2: Foundation Issues Have Little Effect on the Home
Foundation problems have a greater impact on the home than virtually any other home maintenance necessity. Only a severe roof leak poses a more immediate danger to health and safety than a bad foundation.
Your home relies on the foundation to bear its entire load. While home sizes vary considerably, even a smaller home weighs anywhere from 80,000-160,000 pounds. That is, up to 80 mid-sized cars.
When the foundation erodes, it means the weight will be sinking into the soil below. Uneven distribution of weight causes cracks in interior walls, uneven floors, warped doors and windows, and more. These are unsightly and may make a home less desirable to buyers.
Not only does this mean the house is harder to sell, but it can also become uncomfortable to live in. You are much more vulnerable to future issues that can lead to costly home repairs.
MYTH 3: Most Foundation Issues Have Been Around for Years
Foundation issues do take some time to progress. However, not all of them have been around since the construction of the home. Homes can develop new foundation concerns in many different ways, not all of them obvious to the homeowner.
Some events that can contribute to new foundation woes are:
- Heavy storm damage, particularly from rain, wind, and prolonged drought
- Improper drainage of water due to poor soil grading and damaged gutters
- Exposure of concrete slabs due to improper placement or soil preparation
Any of these can arise well into a home’s lifespan. Here in Houston, Texas, flooding or drought conditions are usually the culprit, since the soil beneath a home will expand or crack. Like a cracked tooth, there may be no symptoms early on – but wait too long and it’s a crisis.
MYTH 4: Cracks Are the Only Major Foundation Worry
Identifying cracks in your foundation is a crucial first step to solving the problem. And, yes, homeowners can often fill in minor cracks with epoxy without help from professionals.
Unfortunately, the crack is just a sign, not the source of the deterioration. Cracks often develop as a result of movement in another part of the home.
Likewise, it isn’t possible to diagnose the extent of foundation damage by examining cracks. Sophisticated techniques might be needed to prevent future movement and ensure home stability.
Some approaches include:
- House Leveling: Leveling includes replacement of rotted beams and repositioning
- Landscape Drainage: Drainage systems stop water infiltration into the foundation
- Root Barrier: A barrier system protects the foundation from expanding tree roots
- Traditional Repair: Concrete piers can provide repair guaranteed to last a lifetime
MYTH 5: Any General Contractor Can Perform Foundation Repair
Most general contractors can fill cracks. But almost none can deliver long-lasting solutions.
When you need foundation repair, it’s essential to talk to true experts. Your repair team needs to take into account the age of the structure, its construction, the soil conditions, and the climate.
At Allied Foundation Specialists, we’ve offered the best in foundation repair since 1982. Our team of dozens of trained, certified experts serves Houston, Galveston, Humble, Katy, Pasadena, Pearland, and all the surrounding communities.
No matter what you choose, be sure your repair starts with a free on-site home inspection. To find out more or get started, contact Allied Foundation Specialists today.