As a homeowner, you want your home to be the safest place for you and your family. But as your house grows older and settles into the earth, certain things may start to affect its foundation. A crack here, a spalled concrete area there, and your foundation will need to be repaired before you know it. While a damaged foundation may jeopardize the integrity of your entire home, an important thing to know is that an experienced foundation repair contractor can fix most foundation problems and make your Houston home structurally sound again, as long as the damage isn’t too severe.
In general, hiring a team of skilled professionals to repair your foundation provides an almost certain guarantee that the job will be completed the right way. However, a few expert tips can go a long way toward understanding foundation problems better and choosing the right contractor for the job and the most appropriate repair method from the ones recommended.
As a continuation of a previous article that reveals a few useful tips on foundation repair, here are several expert tips you should also consider in order to achieve the best results possible and prevent recurrent foundation problems.
Hire a Foundation Repair Contractor Instead of a Home Inspector
Inspecting your foundation may not seem very important. In reality, however, it’s one of the most critical parts of the foundation repair process. Besides indicating the underlying cause of a problem that may affect your foundation, a detailed assessment of the structure underneath your home will enable the contractor to recommend the most effective repair solution based on the specifics of your property. In addition, the professional inspecting your foundation will be able to come up with an action plan for addressing the issue.
When deciding whether to hire a home inspector or a foundation repair contractor, the most important aspect you should be aware of is that a home inspector will evaluate the overall condition of a home, without necessarily focusing on its structural integrity.
On the other hand, a foundation repair contractor typically collaborates with several structural engineers who specialize in assessing homes with foundation problems. These professionals are the only ones who can provide a non-biased opinion on whether or not your home will benefit from foundation repair. If any problems are found, the structural engineer performing the inspection will identify all the areas of concern and provide a qualified assessment regarding the underlying cause(s) of the problems as well as the safety and stability of the structure until it is repaired.
The structural engineer will also be able to recommend the best possible solution(s) based on the type of foundation you have, type of soil, extent of the damage, and other factors that are likely to affect both your foundation and the repair over time.
Based on the report issued by the structural engineer, the foundation repair contractor can offer you an estimate. Knowing beforehand how much it would cost to repair your foundation may give you enough time to get your finances in order and even apply for financing, if necessary.
Monitoring Your Foundation after the Inspection Is Critically Important
Monitoring your foundation after a professional has inspected your property is essential, especially if you intend to postpone the repair for the time being. By simply monitoring your foundation, you can catch any changes before they turn into additional problems that might also need to be addressed during the repair. As expected, every additional problem will increase the cost of foundation repair.
The easiest way to monitor your foundation is to have a foundation elevation survey done by the structural engineer inspecting your property. Because this plan includes elevation readings measured around the perimeter of your home— it basically shows how level or out of level your foundation is—you can use it to find out whether or not your foundation will continue to settle over time. Before any repair work commences, the contractor can go over the same plan to determine if the structure has moved and by how much.
Foundation Stabilization Is as Important as Foundation Repair
Simply lifting or repairing a foundation by replacing damaged areas or installing additional structural supports doesn’t mean the structure has also been stabilized. The term “stabilization” implies that the foundation won’t move again. True foundation stabilization is achieved only when a stabilization mixture is injected into the ground around and/or underneath your foundation to prevent it from moving in the future.
If you need foundation repair, make sure that you hire a local foundation repair contractor. Since soils and foundation repair methods vary greatly across the country, only a local contractor will be able to select the right materials and recommend a repair method that can ensure that your foundation and repair will withstand the local climate and soil conditions for many years to come. If you’re looking for an experienced foundation repair contractor in the Houston-Galveston area, call us today at 713-597-3809 for a free, no-obligation foundation inspection and estimate!