Angie’s List Tips For Foundation Repair
Water damage and soil erosion are the main culprits of foundation cracks, usually caused by climate changes, downspouts not extended away from the home properly, or overflowing gutters. Left unchecked, a settling foundation could lead to thousands of dollars in damage.
Foundation issues don’t just plague older homes. In fact, many newer homes are affected, often because the builder neglected to create a positive slope for water to drain away from the home.
Indicators of a foundation problem:
Cracks on walls, often in a stair-step pattern.
Moisture in the basement or crawlspace.
Misaligned doors and windows.
When foundation problems arise, there are two common solutions.
Piering system: Steel rods are inserted under the foundation and stabilize (and in some cases lift) the foundation.
Underpinning or mudjacking: A more economical solution in which concrete is injected under the slab to stabilize it, however, mudjacking is often only a temporary fix.
Angie's List, the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews on local service companies consulted with its highly rated foundation repair companies for tips on repair and inspection.Check gutters and downspouts: The best thing a homeowner can do to prevent their home from settling is to make sure the gutters are clean and the downspouts are out at least 10 feet away from the home, going away from the foundation.
Inspect once a year: It’s important to inspect your home annually for signs of foundation settlement and address any issues immediately. The longer the problem lingers, the more it costs to fix.
Know what to expect: Especially if your foundation problem reaches the point of having to have major work done. This process often involves extensive digging and bringing in large equipment including a concrete mixer.
Communicate with contractor: Talk with the contractor so you have a clear understanding of what’s involved and how long it will take to do the job.
Insurance, bonding and certification: Ask for insurance and bonding information, and certification documentation from the piering manufacturer.
Final say: Make sure you approve all samples of mortar, brick, block, stone, etc.
Consult with a structural engineer: If you’re uncertain what type of repair work you need done, consider talking with a structural engineer.