Foundation Issues that You Should and Shouldn’t Worry About
Overtime, a home will settle naturally into the soil and the foundation can shift slightly. Both time and weather lead to this gradual change, which can be sped up depending on the soil composition. There is no way of knowing exactly how much a home may settle overtime, but most contractors (if pretty familiar with the local soil) can provide assessments upfront. One way to avoid extreme settling of new homes is to consider all variables upon the initial build. For example, if a home is built during a drought, the soil will expand and transform in the rainy season and impact the new property’s foundation. It’s normal and almost impossible to avoid initial settling, but it’s the continued settling overtime that you should be concerned with.
Foundation expansion and shrinkage are the two primary drivers of foundation shifts.
Foundation shrinkage happens for a variety of reasons, but can be tied to the chemical reaction that takes place in the concrete. While you can control the concrete mix used when creating a foundation, you can’t directly influence the humidity and temperature (even though you may wish you could). Shrinkage typically happens near doorways and under basement windows.
Foundation expansion, on the other hand, occurs when brick walls are used underground or as the foundation itself. This isn’t as common in California as it’s seen more often in places with freezing climates where surfaces grow due to moisture gain. Plus, we don’t see a whole lot of brick foundations anymore in general.
There are also other external factors that can lead to foundation issues (outside of the foundation itself). For example, a plumbing leak of any of your main pipes can lead to major foundation shifts. Or, your drainage could be allowing extra water to accumulate and lead to erosion of the soil around your foundation. Or, maybe a large tree next to your home grows overtime and eventually the roots steal water from the soil and ultimately lead to drying out and foundation shrinkage.
Effects of Foundation Shifts
- Slab Leak: If your foundation shifts or moves, it could begin putting extra weight and pressure on your pipes. A slab leak is a kind of pipe leak that happens in or below your foundation to your incoming water or outgoing sewer line.
- Cracked Drywall: These cracks are most noticeable because they are inside your home. They can be relatively small, and therefore mistaken as cosmetic issues, but in most cases they mean that you have a big foundation settlement issue. Keep in mind, not all cracks are created equal.
- Gaps around windows or doors: If there is space between your window or door and the wall, chances are you are experiencing a foundation shift. Many times this is felt in a home because doors begin to stick or jam, and the gap continues to widen.
- Chimney separation: With lack of structural support, chimneys can begin to crack and even lean as a result.
- Floor movement: When sinking occurs, your home’s flooring will begin sloping. In cases of severe foundation shifting, your flooring can even begin cracking.
Avoid Spending Thousands in Repairs & Get Rid of Your Foundation Problems Altogether
The national average cost for foundation repair runs around $5,000-$7,000. This cost includes a formal inspection, getting estimates, basic repairs like repairing a few cracks, and projects like drainage reinforcement. But, if you have a major foundation issue on your hands, repairing the existing foundation may not be an option. In some cases, if there are severe structural issues, the entire foundation would need to be replaced. In this case, you’d be looking at $30,000 to $50,000 for excavation.
For many, this is a cost that they simply cannot afford to absorb. Not only is it a large expense, but even if you do fix the problem, you still have to disclose the repairs to your future buyers. Foundation issues can be a sticky and intimidating topic for buyers (especially new buyers).
Rather than worrying about how to pay for the repairs, you can opt to sell the property with its issues intact. While this is difficult when listing traditionally on the market, investor buyers like us are happy to purchase properties as they are. Why is that? Why are cash buyers willing to take the risk? While we can’t speak for others, we can speak for ourselves. Foundation issues, even the worst of them, don’t scare us because our team has over 120 years in the construction and renovation industry combined. We have experts on staff that can assess what’s needed to create a new and safe foundation, with less hassle and expense than others who choose to take this on themselves. We know there is always a risk in purchasing a home with foundation issues, but our network of professionals enable us to tackle the problems with ease.
With that, we’d be more than willing to speak to you about your problem property and provide you with a no-obligation offer. If you’d benefit from saving the time and money in repairs, then this may be a great option for you.Views: 10