Foundation Repair Pros and Cons
There is good and bad in the foundation repair industry. The bad thing is by nature concrete cracks. They say it is not if but when. The good thing is foundation repair contractors know how to fix it. Manufacturers have developed innovative products backed by engineers to solve almost every problem you could have with a foundation.
The Hard Truth
Any size of crack in your foundation can cause problems. Even hairline cracks can leak and/or let in serious, harmful soil gases like radon. While they may not be structural cracks, a concrete crack usually means there is some sort of pressure pushing on the foundation wall. It can be anything from a tree root or hydrostatic pressure (too much water in the soil). Pressure will continue to push on the foundation and if ignored the problem will get worse. Sometimes the cracks are structural and impact the structural integrity of the house. Often when the foundation is moving, it is due to settlement issues. Settlement problems happen when the soil underneath the foundation is unstable. This could be from improper foundation construction or just from the type of soil under the house. Sometimes excessive water near the foundation erodes the soil and as the soil moves and resettles the foundation becomes unstable.
Foundation repair work can be dangerous so NEVER TRY TO DO IT YOURSELF! Bad things have happened. Houses collapse, and people get hurt or even killed. It is better to play it safe and leave the foundation repair work for the professionals.
The Signs of Settlement
The most common signs of settlement are: sticking door jams and windows, cracks in the walls upstairs, cracks in the chimney, stair-step cracks in brick work or concrete block foundations, and new gaps around windows or doors upstairs. If you see these signs, call a professional foundation repair contractor to help prevent the problem from escalating. The bad news is foundation problems do not just go away, and they don’t get better on their own. The longer you wait to get the problem looked at the worse the problem will get and most likely the more expensive it will be to fix.
The Good News
The good part is there are plenty of quality contractors that specialize in foundation repair work. Now, you can’t just call any old contractor for this type of work. There is special licensing and insurance to cover foundation work. Make sure that you choose a good contractor who can prove he has the proper insurance in case something goes wrong on the job.
Back in the day the only way to do a retrofit foundation repair job was to excavate the foundation. While there are still innovative products stabilizing foundations from the outside, today industry manufacturers have developed innovative products and systems that contractors can install for every scenario.
The good part of the foundation repair industry is that engineers are backing almost every foundation repair system on the market today. So, you can count that a product is going to do what it says it will.
The Moral of the Story
Don’t ignore concrete cracks. Watch for the signs of serious structural issues. Remember, your whole house relies on its foundation. Make sure it is healthy and strong. Contact us today for a FREE Inspection.