Foundation is the most vital component of your entire house. The whole property rests on the foundation. The foundation not only bears the weight of the house and everything in it but also redistributes that weight along the pillars, beams, walls and floors for optimum structural integrity. If a foundation is a weak, cracked, damaged or sunk in, then the property is at risk and everyone inhabiting is unsafe. A property may come crumbling down, floors may crack or tilt, walls may have substantial damage and there can be various other crises if a foundation fails.
Signs of Bad Foundation
Foundations should be in impeccable condition. They should be dry, without any visible signs of damage or serious deterioration. Posts should be upright and firm. The beams supported by the posts should be unerringly sturdy and stable. The concrete piers should be strong. There should not be any puddles. Any sign of moisture or any degree of wetness is a cause for concern. Wooden posts may rot over time so you should probe them with an awl or screwdriver to be certain if they are in an optimum condition.
You may have a basement or crawlspace. Access it and look for signs of damage caused by moisture. Any dampness, unusual signs of wetness or puddles are indicative of poor drainage. There may be some issues with your perimeter foundation. Perhaps the gutters are not plugged or they are clogged. The slope of the soil around the foundation may be insufficient, thereby preventing a natural flow of water away from the property and its foundation. Water stagnation around the house or close to the foundation will cause drainage problem. The minimum slope around a foundation is six inches per ten feet of ground.
Concrete has a tendency to crack when it is unable to shrink in an even manner. Most concrete and block foundations would have some cracks. These may be as few as one or as many as a dozen. You may find hairline cracks between the blocks of concrete, usually in the mortar. These are not a concern. There are normal and harmless. L shaped cracks are common in foundations that have steps necessary on a hillside. These cracks are due to shrinkage. They usually end as hairline cracks and hence not very concerning. You should still plug such cracks so you do not let moisture seep into them and cause damage in due course of time. These cracks are not serious structural flaws.
If you find stair step cracks, especially in masonry joints, then you should be a little worried. Cracks that are more than a quarter of an inch wide and on bulging walls indicate damage caused by moisture. The soil around the property or underneath may have become saturated with water and it may have frozen, leading to an expansion and that can push the foundation causing a substantial breakage. Such problems often warrant a new foundation.
Residential Property Foundation Repair
Foundation repair in Richardson TX is often delayed because the problems are not always obvious. There may be nothing visibly wrong with or about a property. A deeper and closer inspection may reveal unnerving realities. Foundation is not something homeowners inspect every now and then or even attend to in any manner for months, unless there is a reason to do so. The part of the foundation that remains buried and hence invisible is usually beyond the scope of inspection for most homeowners. Only a professional has the tools and the familiarity to launch probes in order to ascertain if the foundation is in a healthy state.
Problems with foundation are a threat to your safety. The value of your property will be adversely revised. You may struggle to sell a property that has a damaged foundation. There will be many other problems, from jammed windows and doors to unstable floors, impaired insulation to moisture crisis among others.
• The first step you must take is consult a foundation expert or home inspector to understand a problem and to know the cause. There can be one or more causes and they must be identified before any remedy can be recommended. The repair solutions have to be based entirely on the cause of the problem and the nature or extent of damage.
• You may have to dig around the foundation to discover the causes of cracks that you can see from outside. These cracks are common when a foundation sinks or has sunk. You might want to hire a contractor who would use a backhoe to limitedly excavate the area and identify the problems.
• You may have to install concrete pilings into holes. Usually, seven pilings or so are sufficient. You would need to insert these concrete pilings using a cable run down the hole and the top piling must be covered with a concrete cap.
• Foundations may have to be lifted back to their original place. Hydraulic jacks are used to steadily lift the entire foundation back up to its original level. Concrete cylinders are usually used to replace the hydraulic jacks and your foundation would firmly settle on them.
• Lifting the foundation is often followed up with backfill. The lifted foundation is left untouched for several days to observe if it is retaining its correct position. Then the soil needs a backfill to retain its former grade or a property composition to support the foundation in the long term. This is done only after the concrete is inspected to be secure. Cracks can be filled with some patch cement on both sides. The cement should be pressed into these cracks so they can fill up the spaces. Use a trowel to smoothen the area.
Cost of Foundation Repair
The cost of foundation repair in Richardson TX depends entirely on the extent of damage and the warranted solutions. Only a comprehensive evaluation of the problem along with an inspection of the property as well as its immediate surroundings will lead to a pragmatic estimate. The average cost of foundation repair is usually around five thousand. Some repairs may cost less but serious damages may lead to an expense of around ten thousand. Some homeowners insurances pay for foundation repair if the cause of damage and the aftermath is covered by the policies. Always consult an experienced and specialist contractor before deciding anything pertaining to foundation repair.
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