Foundation cracks in your home can be a very serious issue, especially if they aren’t addressed in time. In the best-case scenario, these cracks will start off small and can continue to get bigger without being noticed until the foundation of your house has actually been compromised, which can lead to more expensive repairs later on down the road. So it’s important to watch out for these cracks and get them repaired as soon as possible when you do see them appear. Here are some of the top reasons why these cracks might be appearing and what you can do about them if they do show up in your home foundation.
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Why do homes crack?
A foundation can crack for a variety of reasons, but there are some major culprits: frost heave, environmental damage, and shifting soil. If you suspect your house’s foundation is cracked or damaged in any way, it’s important to have it inspected as soon as possible. Inspectors will evaluate your property and determine why your foundation may be cracked and if you need repair work done.
If your foundation is cracking, it’s important to find a foundation repair company quickly. The longer you wait, the more damage can occur. If there are cracks in your walls or floors and you haven’t had them fixed, water and air can seep into your home. Not only does that cause structural damage, but also mold and mildew.
The foundation of your home can be damaged or cracked for a variety of reasons. When you notice cracks in your walls or floors, schedule an inspection with a professional as soon as possible. They’ll determine why your foundation is cracking and whether it needs repair work done. If your foundation has been damaged by age or environmental factors, your best bet may be repair work; if it’s only cracked because of shifting soil, though, you might want to consider sealing it until environmental factors cause more serious damage.
Spotting foundation problems
Many homeowners are unaware that their home has a foundation problem until it’s too late. Luckily, there are several signs of trouble you can look for to ensure your foundation won’t be cracked in a year or two.
Whether you are in a new home or an old one, there are telltale signs that your house could be facing foundation problems. A cracked wall or floor can indicate settling in your property and need for foundation repair, while bulging paint and roof leaks are also not-so-subtle indicators of damage. Even if you don’t spot these red flags, it’s worth having a professional take a look at your home to evaluate your foundation’s safety.
Excessive water pooling around your foundation can also be a sign of a bigger problem underneath. This pooling could come from rainwater or ground moisture, depending on what’s causing it. If you spot evidence of ground leakage or pooling, you should call in a professional right away.
Fixing cracks with foundation repair
Though foundation cracks can be a pain, there are steps you can take to repair your foundation. Homeowners have three options for repairing their foundation—locate and fix individual cracks, replace entire sections of concrete or pour a new foundation.
If you have a large number of cracks in your foundation, it’s time to replace an entire section of concrete. Though some homeowners may be able to perform these repairs themselves with a little bit of DIY know-how, most will need an experienced professional. The only exception would be if you live in a small home or one that doesn’t weigh much on its foundation—in those cases, it might be less expensive and easier to just repair individual cracks. If your home has been affected by storms or was built on unstable soil, you might need to consider replacing your entire foundation.
When deciding which approach to take, it’s important to know that all of these options can be done by a professional foundation repair company. Though you can take care of minor cracks in your foundation yourself, larger or more complex repairs should be left up to those with years of experience and specialized equipment.
Calling an expert
The biggest risks posed by foundation cracks are structural. Water and moisture can damage your home’s foundation, so even a tiny crack should be tended to immediately. Unless you have experience in structural building, it’s best to hire a professional for foundation repairs.
Many experts recommend that homeowners have their foundation inspected every three years.
Even if you don’t see any cracks, having a professional check your home can prevent small cracks from growing into serious issues down the road. If you do notice a problem, call an expert as soon as possible. Chances are good that even a tiny crack in your foundation could be compromising structural stability and causing hidden damage that may worsen over time.
Homeowners may be tempted to attempt a foundation repair themselves, but unless you have expertise in structural engineering, it’s best to leave it up to professionals. Depending on your situation, you may need an engineer or contractor who specializes in home foundation repairs and construction. Hiring a pro can not only ensure your project’s success but also prevent any damage from growing into larger issues that could affect your home’s integrity.
Homeowners insurance policies & foundation repair
Unless your policy specifically excludes it, just about all foundation repairs are covered by homeowners insurance. There are two common scenarios when it isn’t covered and that’s when damages are from floods and earthquakes. These usually need to be covered by buying separate insurance policies for these scenarios. So while you’re looking into a crack in your home’s foundation, you might as well check with your insurer to make sure everything is up-to-date. The same goes if you already have cracks—now would be a good time to check if any coverage gaps exist in your plan.
According to Home Advisor, the average cost to repair a foundation is between $2,137 and $7,428. Keep in mind that crack repairs can be between $250 and $800 so it’s best to repair cracks early before they turn into a larger, more expensive repair.