Foundation repair and remodeling can prove to be very costly and time-consuming. Most homeowners do not have the knowledge or expertise to perform the repairs themselves, which is why they will often hire a foundation repair contractor to do the job. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work out to be in the homeowner’s favor. Foundation repair contractors can be very expensive, and they also don’t do as good of a job as some people would like.
Many different things can cause basement damage. Damp soil can cause settlement. A foundation repair contractor can check for foundation problems that could lead to this kind of damage. They will be able to determine if the problem lies with the slab itself, or whether there is damage to the flooring underneath or to a component called the crawlspace. If there is water leakage from the walls or even down into the basement, then the walls are probably suffering from foundation damage. A visit to the local library or online research should reveal the information you need to know about the nature of the problem.
Another way that foundation repair contractors can check for problems is by using metal cutting tools to look for cracks in the foundation wall. This is especially important if you live in an area that experiences high winds or heavy rain. Small cracks can turn into larger ones, and it is these larger cracks that are the likely source of foundation settlement. Drains and leaks may also contribute to the problem, so it is important to check for leaks around window areas and other places where water might collect.
When soil settles, it is called differential settlement. It occurs when the weight of the soil presses on a foundation wall while it is in constant motion. In areas of soil that moves slowly, the soil will settle over time without any serious harm, but areas with the uneven settlement will begin to press against the foundation if the ground attempts to move faster than the foundation can settle.
The exterior walls of a house are one example of the loads that are placed on a structure. Because of this, the exterior walls are subjected to much more pull during normal day-to-day activities. Exterior walls will develop cracks, splits, punctures, and other types of damage because of the loads that they experience. While the structure of houses can be supported by concrete blocks, the external walls will always require a layer of load-bearing insulation. If the structure starts to lack load-bearing walls, the house will eventually sag.
Dampness and humidity are another major cause of foundation damage. There are a number of reasons why there is moisture accumulation around the foundation, such as soil expansion and winter rains. When there is a lot of moisture in the air, condensation can form on the exterior walls of a home, and this will cause the structure to eventually buckle. When condensation forms on the walls, the interior of a home will become damp, and this will encourage mold and mildew to grow. Signs of condensation include a water stain on painted surfaces, moisture-laden basement walls, and windows and doors that are continually open.
Even when the outside conditions don’t point to foundation problems, it’s wise to have your home inspected by a licensed engineer twice each year. These professionals can spot problems with the foundation, or problems with the structure of the home. If your home has been built using the proper codes, it should have few signs of foundation problems. However, if you’ve had severe weather or other outside factors damage the integrity of the home, you will likely see signs of cracks, gaps, or other signs.
Foundation rotting and structural damage are also common causes for damp walls and damp floors, and these conditions can lead to sagging, bowing walls and floors. It’s not just a house with sloping floors and exterior walls that can experience these kinds of deficiencies, though.
Logically, any home that experiences significant exterior or interior structural damage is at risk for foundation problems, and it’s important to know which conditions may point to a more serious issue.