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Home Improvement  /  October 8, 2020

How to Uncover Problems in Your Home Foundation

Your home’s foundation is crucial. It’s a solid base that holds almost all the structural components. It should be strong enough to bear the whole building’s dead and live load. Dead load is the home’s weight on its own. Live load refers to the ever-changing contents of the home, whether it’s people, appliances, and even snow during the winter.

The foundation must also be stable enough to face the elements and natural occurrences like earthquakes. And it should be made of durable material that isolates the whole home from moisture coming from the soil beneath.

Your home’s foundation has the tough job of keeping your home together. If it gets damaged, it can create a domino effect of stress and damage for the rest of your home’s components. Your joists, floors, walls, ceilings and doors could end up warped, or worse – completely destroyed over time. This makes your home completely unsafe.

Apart from safety issues, foundation damage can also do a number on your bank account, with all the repairs you have to make to the different parts of your home. Foundation remediation costs an average of $3,500 alone. You don’t want to add floor and wall repairs to your bills.

The longer your foundation stays damaged, the more costs will stack up. Whether you’ve had the property for a while or you’regetting a house ready before a move, you need to get its foundation fixed at the first sign of trouble.

Here are effective ways to find possible foundation problems before you call in an inspector.

Inspect from the Outside

You can easily see foundational issues from the outside of your home. Check the foundation wall from all sides. They should be completely straight in every direction. If they’re leaning or curving out, the soil around your foundation may be expanding. When this happens, the foundation may experience immense pressure, causing it to distort.

Another area you should checkis your chimney. See if it’s shifting or warping out of its base. A broken chimney has the potential to collapse entirely, causing serious injuries to your family and damage to your property.

Be Wary of Weird Smells

The musty smell in your basement may seem normal, but it’s a sign of more significant issues in your home’s structure and plumbing. One explanation could be that cracks in your foundation are causing moisture to seep in, letting water, and eventually mold and mildew, to trickle in. If you notice extremely foul smells in your basement, it could be that yoursewer line needs to be repaired.

Sewer lines run directly under your concrete slab. And when they leak, they could expose the concrete to excessive amounts of moisture and the chemicals that get expelled through your pipes. Constant and excessive exposure moisture can deteriorate the concrete, causing it to grow mold, crack, and even warp over time.

Check for Complications on Inside Components

Your foundation affects the stability of all of your home’s components, especially your walls, floors and ceilings. Check these for cracks or even warping. Use a level to check your floor’s slope. See if nails are popping out of your drywall. If it continues to slant over a few months, you may have foundation problems.

The same goes for your floor and window framing. If you’re finding it hard to open and close your doors and windows despite adding WD-40 to them, they may be warped. They’ll end up jamming entirely over time or have gaps between them and their jambs. And this is all because of slanted and warped foundation.

How to Deal With Foundation Issues

Foundation problems are complex and can’t be fixed by do-it-yourself methods. Once you suspect that you have issues with your foundation, call a specialist immediately. You could also hire an inspector first to confirm the problem. What seems like a foundation issue could just end up being an isolated plumbing or drywall problem.

Either way, you should never attempt to make foundation repairs by yourself, as you could end up making them worse and more costly.

Your foundation affects every component of your house. When it breaks down, the rest of your home is in danger of following suit. As such, it’s important to inspect this component regularly for any issues. Use these recommendations as a guide when checking your foundation. And when you do find problems, hand them over to the capable hands of a foundation repair specialist. The issues you find and take care of today, will prevent costly problems in the future.

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