You’re likely to have a taste of what it means to be overwhelmed once you have had major renovation work done on your house, say, a foundation repair. You probably do not know what this type of repair entails because it is uncommon. We can tell you it is exhausting, time-consuming, and costs money. You may never have to repair your house’s foundation. However, if you are wondering, it means raising and stabilizing a foundation due to problems. Several issues can necessitate foundation repair, and we will discuss some of them. But you must acquaint yourself with possible signs of problems to know when to call for a professional assessment.
What Causes Foundation Issues?
As mentioned, several factors can cause a house’s foundation to become unable to hold the structure. You may notice water damage, house tilting, or cracks where there used to be none. Let’s look at some common causes.
01. Plumbing Leakage
One of the primary causes of foundation issues is plumbing leakage. While it is not standard for every house, many buildings pass the plumbing pipes under the foundation to keep them hidden.
That also means the pipes must be strong and withstand years of staying inside the soil.
Over time, however, the pipes weaken and begin to leak, causing water to flood the foundation to damage it. For example, the cast iron piping that was popular in the ‘60s and ‘70s has become a problem because most have corroded and are leaking. You may not immediately notice the problem until it becomes irreparable and requires repairs. Click here to understand why
02. Problems with Drainage
Foundations are designed to withstand the elements without buckling. That is why it takes a lot of time and money to build, especially if it is a big structure. However, there are issues it cannot hold off forever, such as standing water. When there is a problem with the drainage system in any area, the buildings are in danger because the standing water can negatively affect the foundations if not fixed.
Most designs work so that water flows away from your house. Drainage systems should always work to ensure large amounts of water find their way out to rivers or the sea. But that is not always the case, as you may find obstructed drainages, causing poor outflow and endangering buildings.
03. Poor Construction
It is not a common issue because property owners usually look for reliable contractors for their building projects. However, you may find a house with a poorly constructed foundation occasionally. Inadequate soil compaction is a leading cause. Also, a house with a foundation of fill dirt quickly develops faults because the dirt moves the foundation.
04. Weak Soil Condition
Another top reason for these issues is the soil. It can weaken or expand, causing a widening of the structure. Certain areas are prone to have expandable soil or expansive clay, which can stress the foundation.
Check out the blog below to learn more about weak ground under structures.
Expansive clay soil quickly responds to moisture level changes; when the season is dry, it contracts, but when it rains, the soil expands to absorb the excess moisture. While contractors usually consider this soil change when building the structure, the foundation can only take so many fluctuations and eventually give way due to the excess stress. However, this may take years to happen.
Questions to Ask a Foundation Repair Contractor
It is time to call for professional assessment and assistance if you suspect your home’s foundation has issues. A proper inspection should inform a reliable contractor if you need such a time-consuming and expensive project, so here are key questions to ask before committing yourself.
1. Does My House Require a Repair?
The likely answer will be no because houses hardly need foundation repairs. You may have water damage in your basement or new cracks on the wall, but these are necessarily signs of a foundation problem in your home. It takes years for every house to settle, which may cause small cracks to appear. Let more than two pairs of eyes assess the issues and determine the next step.
2. What Is Your Experience?
It is crucial to ask this question face to face, but let it be only for record purposes. Before any contractor inspects your property, you must have asked about and researched them. They must be highly recommended with provable testimonials of their previous jobs.
Whatever they tell you must agree with what you already know or even surpass it. Pro tip: compare more than two contractors and pick the one that best fits your needs.
3. How Long Will It Take?
We already discussed how extensive the repairs can be. Depending on the nature and extent of the damage, it may take two to five days. In that time, you will need to find another place to stay if it is your residential house. You may also have to consider other jobs the contractor has and factor them into the entire project timeline.
Another vital point is the number of people to work on the project. Suppose the damage is extensive, and you need it completed within the agreed time.
In that case, the contractor must have a specific number of people on the job, working simultaneously to meet the deadline. Writing the timetable and deadline as part of the contract is crucial, so you can refer to it at any point during the project.
4. How Much Will It Cost?
The cost of the repairs may be the first question you ask. Every contractor has their quote, although the price differences should not be too much. The repair to be done and other factors inform the entire cost, but you must have a flexible budget to accommodate any change or eventuality.
While finding a contractor is easy, picking the best for your repairs may be tedious. Find three or four credible contractors, check their reputation and work experience, and compare their prices. Do not rely on only one quote, regardless of how well-recommended the company is. You can easily negotiate with your chosen company if you have quotes from trusted contractors to bargain with. Remember that these projects tend to be cost-intensive. Therefore, do not look for ridiculously cheap options to ensure you get the best results.
It is the job of a professional to determine if your building has foundation issues. Factors such as weak soil, plumbing issues, poor construction, and drainage problems contribute to the damage. However, it is your job to find the best contractor, and asking pertinent questions, such as the causes of the problem, how much it will cost, and their experience, should get you started. Follow this guide to find the right company to repair your home’s faulty foundation.
Do you want to know how weak foundation leads to building failure? Then check out this blog: