To protect your home from problems that result from foundation damage, you should understand what to look for, how to evaluate damage and what foundation repair must be completed by a professional.
Check Your Foundation
Homeowners should regularly check their foundations for cracks and holes. However, not all cracks suggest major foundation issues. For example, slight cracks may appear during the first year after construction and may signal that the home is settling or the concrete is curing and shrinking.
In addition to an interior and exterior foundation check, watch for cracks in the drywall, around doors and windows and in the exterior siding. If the doors and windows stick or are difficult to open or close, a foundation issue may be at fault.
Hairline cracks should be sealed and may be painted. Any crack wider than 1/8th of an inch should be monitored monthly to identify any expansion.
Basements should be checked for water and smells near cracks, but cracks in the floors may occur as the house settles. However, large cracks, bulges or seeping foundations should be evaluated by an engineer or contractor.
If no expansion occurs, small cracks may be sealed with a calk that works with concrete and painted to protect them from seeping, smelling or allowing radon gas to escape into the home. If your landscaping angles down toward your foundation, consider adding soil and moving your plants away from the house. In addition, consider installing gutters and downspouts to prevent water from running off your roof into your foundation.
Any major foundation work, including stabilization or repairing structural issues, may require extensive external and internal work, including excavation or lifting the foundation. Therefore, large cracks and bulging, flooding or seeping concrete should also be treated or repaired by a professional. In addition, many local governments require permits for foundation repairs, which necessitate the services of an engineer.
Ensure the safety of your home by understanding what foundation damages to look for, how to evaluate these damage and what repairs require a professional.