Do the words “Foundation Repair” cause to panic just a bit? If so, you are not alone. After all, they likely make you think about the safety of your family as well as perhaps the items in your home. Perhaps your second thought is “How much is this going to cost?” Thankfully, the words ‘foundation repair’ do not have to mean dire consequences to your health, happiness or wallet.
Separating the Fact and Fiction of Foundation Repair
If you fear that foundation repairs may be in your future, then it is first important to sort out the facts and fiction about getting your home’s foundation repaired.
Fiction: Lifting the foundation will only cause more problems.
Fact: When a foundation is properly repaired, floors will be leveled (no house has perfectly level/even flooring!) The objective is to get the house as close to its as-built elevation. Sure, there might be some cosmetic cracks on the drywall and a door or two may need adjusting, but overall there should not be additional problems.
Fiction: Foundation Repairs Lowers the Value of a House.
Fact: When you make structural repairs, this only adds value to the home. A potential new owner would benefit from you making the upgrade.
Fiction: My landscaping will not be destroyed.
Fact: While a foundation repair might require some of the plants closest to the home to be removed and replanted, the goal is to cause as little damage as possible to a landscape. The reality is that many times vegetation – especially large trees or shrubbery- that is planted too close to the foundation are often part of the problem.
Fiction: All foundation repair is expensive.
Fact: While large jobs can be in the four-digit price range, smaller repairs can be just a few hundred. Another good reason to make the repair as soon as you notice them rather than waiting to see what happens.
Fiction: The foundation repair needed is a result of the original builder’s lack of attention or skill.
Fact: Foundation problems are often a result of the soil beneath the house settling underneath the concrete slab.
Fiction: Excess water damages your home’s foundation.
Fact: While water can cause the soil to expand, and extreme heat causes it to contract, the amount of water rarely causes cracks in a foundation.
Fiction: Cracks will help determine the cause of the foundation issue.
Fact: While seeing the cracks in your foundation, and acting upon that knowledge is important, the cracks are not the “roadmap” to the problem. Chances are, the foundation problem originated somewhere else in the home’s foundation- the cracks are an indicator that you may have a problem.
Fiction: A foundation built with concrete blocks is weaker than one made of poured concrete.
Fact: The materials used for your foundation are nearly as important as the condition of the footing supporting the walls, the condition/type of soil underneath the foundation, how well the wall was reinforced during the build, and assorted drainage elements.
These eight myths are some of the most common “fictitious facts” in foundation repair. As you can see, there is a great deal of misinformation. Don’t see a crack in your concrete, or home’s structure and immediately think the worst! Talk to a Sherrill Structural Repair specialist and get the facts you need to move forward.