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Think You Have Foundation Damage? How to Know and What To Do

How To Spot Foundation DamageFoundation damage can be a problem for homeowners. A home with foundation problems can be unsafe to occupy, and foundation damage can be expensive to repair. Homeowners who recognize the signs of foundation damage and who know what to do when they identify potential issues can help protect their property and maintain their home's value.

Signs of Foundation Damage

There are many signs of foundation trouble. Homeowners who are able to recognize the signs can seek repair before the damage spreads.

Warning signs can be found inside and outside the Wandermere home. One of the first and most obvious indications of trouble includes cracks in the foundation. Not all cracks are indicative of a serious problem. Hairline cracks that are smaller than one quarter of an inch wide could be caused by settling of the home's foundation. The most problematic cracks are wide, horizontal cracks or cracks that assume a stair-stepping shape in the mortar between the foundation blocks.

Other signs of foundation trouble include:

  1. Windows and doors suddenly become difficult to open or close.
  2. Cracks that appear in the walls above the corners of doors and windows.
  3. Walls that bow or bend in or out.
  4. Cracks in the basement walls.
  5. Uneven or tilted flooring.

While one or two of these problems may not be indicative of a serious problem, homeowners must use their good judgment to decide when it's time to call a structural engineer.

What to Do About Foundation Damage

A homeowner who suspects that their home has foundation trouble can contact a structural engineer. A structural engineer who specializes in foundation damage can use their training and tools to determine whether there is damage and to what degree. Repairs must be performed before construction work can be done on the house, and it's advisable to fix the home before trying to sell.

Can You DIY Repairs?

Unlike other simple home improvements, homeowners should not DIY foundation repair. There are many reasons why this is the case. To begin with, foundation problems can be so serious that a bad repair could have a negative impact on the structural stability of the home. In addition, some foundation repairs can involve specialized equipment and tools that homeowners may not be able to buy or rent from home improvement centers.

Finally, if a home does have foundation damage, the contractor will likely need to fix the underlying problem that caused the damage in the first place. Failure to repair the underlying problem can lead to future foundation trouble. Many homeowners do not have the specialized knowledge they need to identify the cause of the foundation trouble and therefore cannot make those repairs on their own.

Must You Fix?

In most cases, foundation problems should be repaired. In addition to the fact that foundation trouble can cause the home to become structurally unstable, foundation trouble can also seriously impact the value of a property. Homeowners who try to sell their home without repairing foundation problems can expect to get far less for their home, even less than the amount it would cost just to repair the problem.

Selling A Home With Foundation Trouble? Work With Your Real Estate Professional

A homeowner who is trying to sell their home with foundation trouble must work with a real estate professional to get the most money for their home sale. A real estate professional can help homeowners decide how to proceed with a sale of this kind.


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