Monday, February 10th, 2020
Think you’ve heard everything there is to hear about foundation repair? There are a lot of myths circulating outside of the industry that make homeowners wary. If there are myths keeping you from reaching out to a contractor, read on and see if this guide can’t dispel some of your worries.
It is true that some foundation materials – brick and concrete, in particular – are more prone to cracking than others. That does not mean, however, that all homes with brick or concrete foundations are going to crack. Similarly, it does not mean that foundations made of other materials won’t fall victim to damage.
Your foundation cracks when it’s exposed to an extreme amount of stress, or hydrostatic pressure. If you live in an area that takes on a lot of precipitation, like Cincinnati, OH, then your soil may not be able to absorb all of the rain that comes down. As a result, the soil will shift, water will butt up against your home, and your foundation material will expand and contract to try and compensate for the changes.
Those changes result in cracks. When you waterproof your foundation ahead of time, you can lessen the amount of stress your foundation has to endure. But even the best-made home can fall victim to the whims of nature.
If you’re able to see a crack, it should be simple enough to fill it and move on. That’ll solve your problems, right?
Wrong. Filling a crack with caulk or another material will fix a crack aesthetically, but it won’t attend to the core problem your foundation is enduring. Not only that but by filling your crack with untested material, you risk that material faltering under the weight of water stress and expanding the crack that it was supposed to hold together.
It’s recommended that, upon spotting a crack, you reach out to a professional basement repair contractor. DIY solutions may work in the short-term, but they won’t get to the source of your problems.
If long-term exposure to a significant amount of water causes your foundation to crack, can overwatering your outdoor plants weaken your foundation? Myths say yes – reality says no. Your outdoor landscaping needs water to thrive. The plants surrounding your perimeter actually work as a natural barrier, with the roots – so long as they’re not too big – absorbing the water that might otherwise leak into your foundation.
When you water these plants during a drought, you’re actually working to protect your home. Soil that hasn’t been exposed to water for a long time shrinks in size. When it finally rains, the unprepared soil won’t be able to gather all of the precipitation. As a result, more water will make it to your foundation than usual, and your foundation may crack.
Watering your perimeter landscaping, then, not only keeps your flowers looking beautiful, but it protects your foundation – even when you water a hair too much.
You don’t need to fix a crack as soon as you spot it, do you? After all, if all you’re dealing with is a little bit of dampness, then you can let the crack sit for a while.
Here’s the thing about delaying foundation repairs: you might be able to get away with doing so in the short-term, but the consequences in the long-term are going to be severe. The longer you let a crack grow, the worse it’s going to get. By the time you do eventually get around to fixing your foundation, you’ll find yourself paying far more than you would have if you’d called a contractor sooner.
Speaking of costs: many homeowners delay fixing their foundations because they believe the process of doing so is going to be expensive.
On one hand, yes, fixing your foundation is going to cost money. On the other hand, the prices aren’t unreasonable, given the industry and the amount of work you’re expecting a basement repair contractor to do. If you’re really worried about your budget, pull together free quotes from several different contractors so you can negotiate costs. You may even be able to sign up for a payment plan if your repairs are extensive.
Finally, who in their right mind would want to buy a home with a faulty foundation? That’s a poor investment, isn’t it?
Not necessarily. You can find a buyer for a home with a cracked foundation. However, to place your home on the market, you’ll either need to fix the foundation cracks ahead of time or list the nature of the problem in advance. Homeowners who don’t fix their foundations do pay a price, though. Homes with unattended, cracked foundations can lose up to 30 percent of their market value. This means that while you’re saving money by forgoing repairs, you’re also losing money on the sale of your house.
You can’t believe everything you hear about foundation repair. Hopefully, with these myths dispelled, you’ll be able to reach out to a local contractor and more confidently discuss the repairs your home may need.