If you’re planning to have your foundation repaired any time soon, you may want to know how long the repair will last. This is a legitimate concern, as foundation repairs can be expensive and homeowners insurance doesn’t usually cover this type of repair.
To begin with, regular maintenance and repairs can keep foundations sturdy for about 100 years, and even longer if the contractor does the job right. However, the lifespan of foundation repairs depends on a number of factors. To help you find the right answer to the question, “How long will my foundation repair last?”, here’s an in-depth overview of all the factors that may affect the durability of a foundation repair job.
The Underlying Causes of Foundation Damage
In general, the underlying problems that have led to foundation damage play a significant role in the longevity of a repair. For example, a few hairline cracks due to minor foundation movement, which hasn’t impacted the structural integrity of the house, aren’t only easier to repair compared to more extensive damage; but the repair may also last longer, as it is more of a preventive measure than a corrective action meant to address structural damage.
On the other hand, significant foundation movement that has led to more severe or complex structural problems may be more difficult to fix. Because various structural components might have been affected, failure to address all of them along with all of the foundation areas that have been damaged may result in an incomplete or inadequate repair. As the foundation will continue to be exposed to different tensile, compressive, and bending stresses exerted by the structure above, a poorly executed foundation repair might not only fail over time but could also harm the entire foundation.
A notable aspect is that the longer foundation problems are ignored, the worse they tend to get. Thus, addressing foundation issues quickly will prevent them from turning into extensive structural damage. This could have a positive effect on the overall longevity of any foundation repair job.
The Type of Material and Method of Repair
Concrete is a common material used for repairing foundations in Houston homes. However, the different types of concrete available today have different properties, meaning that a certain concrete type may be more appropriate for a specific repair job. One way to ensure a long-term fix to a foundation problem is to use the right concrete mix, additives, reinforcements, and insulation, based on the soil conditions and design requirements.
But how long a foundation repair lasts also depends on the repair method selected. In the case of a failing foundation, driving concrete piers to a “point of refusal” and stabilizing the structure in the new position is the most long-lasting repair solution for foundations located in areas with clay soil.
The Quality of the Foundation Repair
While the quality of the work being done refers mostly to the adherence to project specifications, building codes, and industry standards, the quality control measures that each contractor should implement for each foundation repair project are equally important, as they can significantly affect the performance and durability of the repair. Poor quality control measures or the lack of them can result in all sorts of workmanship defects that may compromise the strength and longevity of the repair as well as the durability of the foundation.
When it comes to the permanence of your foundation repair, the unique conditions around your property are also at play. Climate change and seasonal patterns, which dictate the soil moisture content and outside temperature, can cause the clay soil around your foundation to swell, shrink, erode, and even freeze. All these can reduce the time a foundation repair holds up. As well, invasive root systems and landscaping work, such as excavation, drilling, blasting, and other similar actions, could have a negative impact on your foundation repair, affecting its performance and shortening its lifespan.
Too Much Water in the Soil Under or Around the Foundation
In addition to excessive rainfall amounts occurring during the wet season, the foundation of a Houston home can also be affected by poor drainage, plumbing leaks, and over-watering. Regardless of the underlying factor(s), too much water accumulating under or around a foundation can cause the ground to swell, potentially leading to foundation repair failure and additional damage. By ensuring proper drainage, preventing plumbing leaks, maintaining a relatively constant moisture level in the soil around your foundation, waterproofing your foundation, and enclosing and insulating your crawl space, you can extend the lifespan of your foundation as well as any repair work done.
Foundation Inspections in Houston
After a foundation has been repaired, it’s important to have it professionally inspected at least once a year. Regular foundation inspections performed by experts will catch problems early, preventing them from negatively affecting the foundation and any repairs done. Having your foundation inspected regularly will also allow you to develop and continuously adjust foundation maintenance measures for the best results.
As Houston homeowners, we know how stressful repairing your home’s foundation can be! That’s why we want to help you make an informed decision about any foundation work you might need. If you have any questions about our foundation repair solutions, contact us today, knowing that our professionals will be happy to help!