by Shawn Kyles
The foundation is one of the most important areas of your home. Cracks or other weaknesses in your foundation can cause many problems in your home, and should be addressed quickly.
Some of the signs that you may be having a foundation problem are:
- Windows and doors that won’t open, close or lock properly
- Cracks in walls or ceilings
- Tilting or sloping floors
- Cracks through brick mortar
- Twisted or un-even outdoor siding
- Out-of-square garage doors
These are indicators that your home may need foundation repair or even replacement. Addressing the needs before the problems develop into safety hazards can save homeowners money and the difficulties of temporary relocation.
Some homes were built without reinforced concrete foundations which can deteriorate over time. Others have suffered due to drainage problems or earth movement. Poor drainage can be a major contributor to increases in soil moisture, causing foundation problems. Rain falling into gutters should be directed away from the house. Gutter downspouts should not release water right next to the foundation. And bad soil problems can cause foundation difficulties even with homes as new as two years old.
Sometimes these problems do not necessarily mean you need a new foundation, but you have breaks in your foundation due to prior earth movement, age or even poor drainage. Left unchecked and uncorrected, these breaks in the foundation and stem wall can lead to additional cost and, in many cases, pose a risk to your structure. Often, the cracks can be repaired simply with a metal strap, epoxy injection or a pad known as an underpin, making yours a safer home.
There are many good reasons for foundation replacement. Some homes were built without a concrete and steel foundation, while others were made of un-reinforced masonry, that of brick or stone. In some cases, the original concrete was made of poor quality materials or has been badly deteriorated over the years. In most cases you can live in your home while a foundation contractor installs your new foundation.