Taking care of your home is an important investment. Purchasing a home is quite an expensive, but the landscaping, upkeep and improvements all cost money as well. You don’t want to spend that kind of money and not maintain the home; otherwise, your investment won’t pay off when you eventually sell the home. One of the most overlooked facets of home upkeep is with the home’s foundation, the very concrete upon which the house is built. Ignoring signs of foundation problems will wind up costing you a lot more than addressing them immediately, but how do you know what to look for, and what to do about it when you do see signs?
There are different types of foundation failure and different solutions to those problems but knowing that to look for helps in determining how to address the issue. Regardless of the foundation issue, the one constant is true: the longer you take to fix it, the more difficult and expensive the repair will be.
Foundations often suffer cracks due to soil settling, especially in certain climates. You will start to notice bowed or cracked walls when the soil is over-saturated and the house begins to settle. Even worse, though, is when the foundation actually sinks or drops, mainly due to the contraction and expansion of the soil underneath the home. If it rains a lot, that water soaks into the ground, expanding the soil. If the sun comes out and bakes the earth, the soil will contract. This has an obvious effect in the concrete on top of the soil, as does the age of the home. Clay dirt, like that found in the Midwestern part of the United States, is an example of expansive soil. If the water builds up around the home and then settles into the clay, it will cause structural problems. When the soil dries out, the foundation footings start to drop and the foundation walls will start to separate and crack. The older the home, the more of a likelihood there will be foundation issues, due to the years of soil changes. New homes can also have foundation issues, but that is more likely the fault of the builder and if you still have a warranty, it can be addressed before the damage is too great.
What are some above ground signs that your foundation is in distress? A good place to start is the concrete itself. Look for signs of hairline fractures, flaking concrete, gaps between the walls and the floors, sloping or sagging foundation walls and any mold, water stains or standing water. Also, leaning chimneys, cracked drywall, and misaligned trim can be major red flags. Crumbling stucco, cement or brick on the outside are also indicators that something is amiss. Check both the inside and the outside of the home for these telltale signs for structure issues. Inside the home, you may first see foundation damage upstairs, in the form of warped ceilings or buckling floors. You will also want to watch for exposed space between the walls and ceiling. If doors and windows are sticking or ill-fitting, these could also be signs that the house has settled. Using a level if you are unsure will give you the certainty you need to discover if the house has settled.
Since there is no way to control the weather to ensure the ground isn’t too wet or to dry, what can be done to make sure the foundation repair Okc under your home doesn’t suffer? The best course of action is making sure you have proper drainage from your home. If water pools around the base of your home or visible cracks redirect water to lower soil levels, the result will be excess moisture build up around the home, causing the soil under the foundation to saturate and expand. If it continues, the concrete supporting your home will slowly sift into the ground, and not necessarily at the same rate of other parts of your home! You will see obvious signs of water damage and possibly even witness that one part of your home is lower than the other. The unfortunate news: the longer you let the issue linger, the more it will cost. Even if you wait to fix the foundation itself, the seepage of water and the elements through windows and doors with gaps and cracks will wind up costing you more to maintain the home every month.
There are solutions, however, to the foundation problem but not all solutions rectify all problems! The first step in fixing foundation issues is to call an expert, a residential structural engineer, who can assess your foundation concerns and then devise a plan to fix these concerns. The contractor hired to repair the problems has to follow the plan and make sure the foundation repair Tulsa is secured. One such way of repairing the concrete under the home is to add extra steel to the concrete footers and foundation, certainly an option to discuss with the structural engineer and the contractor. If the engineer determines that your foundation has dropped or sunken, then underpinning would be an answer to that problem. This involves placing a support pier under the foundation, essentially lifting it to its regular height. There are several types of piers available; speak to the engineer regarding the best type for your home. Obviously, the number of piers depends upon the size of your home and the extent of the damage, which only becomes more expensive over time. Addressing the issue early is the best way to save money over the long run.
Owning a home can be one of life’s greatest pleasures. If you have seen the old Tom Hanks’ movie, “The Money Pit”, you know it can also suck the money, time and the very life out of you, if you let it! Being proactive with your home is the safest way to avoid costly issues in the future. Since the foundation repair companies Okc is literally the bedrock of your home, making sure it is safe and secure is imperative. Consult with experts if you encounter problems or have questions to keep your home sweet home from becoming a nuisance!