When we hear that the foundation of a property we own, are selling or buying needs possible foundation repairs, we may tend to put it off because the cost may sound like it’s too much, however, there are certain times when looking the other way may end up costing you a lot more later. When we look the other way, what was once a minor repair may soon end up costing you thousands.
Where Do I Begin?
New homes go through normal settlement; this is where the structure settles into its new foundation and there may be normal cracking throughout the foundation. For normal settlement, there is no need for expensive repairs; however, when settlement continues due to faulty construction or issues with the soil underneath the foundation, and it begins to shift and become negatively affected, stepping in immediately to resolve the issue will save you thousands.
Some examples of clear signs of foundation issues that need resolving include:
- Doors and windows that are not level with the floor; this is caused by abnormal settlement of the building. The movement of the walls and floors misaligns these structures within the property.
- Significant cracking of the walls or floors; this is typically signs of the foundation settling abnormally to one side of the property and pulling or pushing on that wall or part of the floor.
- Movement of built-in fixtures like cabinets, kitchen countertops, wall tiles etc.; if built in structures appear to pull away from the wall, this is a sign that the walls where they are located are shifting out of place.
- A tilting chimney
- Moisture stains around the foundation; water damage is a huge contributing factor in foundation damage. Moisture creates mold and other issues that begin to eat away at the materials that make up the foundation, consequently weakening it.
If a property has any of these signs, don’t hold off on calling a professional structural engineer to inspect the foundation and provide you with cost-affective solutions to the problem. Remember, the longer you wait, the more severe the foundation issue may be.
When Do Repairs Become Necessary?
Repairs become necessary in a few scenarios.
When these issues are present in the property where you reside, getting guidance from a professional is essential because they can tell you if the issue is posing a threat to those living within the residence. They will also be able to tell you if waiting is going to create an economic havoc later. Structural engineers are hired to help property owners make the safest, most cost-friendly decision possible.
Before selling a property, fixing any foundation damage will help the sale of the home go smoother. Many potential lenders will not give loans to buyers that want to purchase a home that has foundation damage. Additionally, many buyers do not want to take a risk and buy a property with such issues, even if you lower the asking price of the property. Furthermore, the property is devalued if it has foundation issues because it needs to consider the foundation repairs that the buyer will have to pay. Before selling your home, it will benefit you to consult with a professional engineer and resolve any foundation issues that it may have.
Ensuring that foundation issues are resolved or at least addressed is equally as important for the buyer. Understanding what issues potential homes have will save you from possibly losing money with lenders. There are some loans that won’t be approved when appraisers realize that a home comes with issues, and they might place loans on hold until these are resolved. Moreover, having a professional inspect the home will give you a clear understanding of the condition that the property is in, and the level of commitment you will need to have to repair or maintain the structural integrity of the building.
Repair Sooner Rather Than Later
Partial and small foundation repairs are much easier and cheaper to fix than major damage. Dealing with the small stuff as soon as it shows up will benefit you and your pocket. Call a professional engineer and get advised. Remember, they are hired by you to help find the best solution for your specific case.