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Does Your Ohio Home Have a Foundation Problem?

Ohio homeowners who identify the early warning signs of foundation problems can help minimize costly repairs.

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Do you know what to look for in your Cincinnati home to identify early warning signs of foundation damage? If your Columbus home’s windows are sticking and the problem is getting worse, did you know it could be a sign of a damaged foundation? 

Your home’s foundation settles as the property ages. Changes to the area’s soil conditions, weather conditions, and other factors that are out of your control can make the impact on your home’s foundation worse. Here’s what to look for to help identify and fix small foundation problems before they become big ones, saving you time, money, and a big headache.

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Does Your Ohio Home Have a Foundation Problem?

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Why Does A Home’s Foundation Settle? 

As a home ages, changes that are beyond our control can impact the health of its most important structure, the foundation. A foundation settles when the ground beneath it shrinks, due to unstable or changing soil conditions. This can happen more quickly or with greater effect on the health of the foundation due to moisture levels in the soil, weather, catastrophic events like flooding, or even small pipe leaks or poor gutter drainage that causes water to pool near the home’s exterior walls or its foundation. 

The opposite effect, foundation heave, happens when soil levels underneath a home rise as areas close by settle and shrink. This condition can also cause damage to the home’s foundation that is best identified and fixed as soon as possible to reduce the cost of major repairs down the line. Because time is not the only factor in foundation settlement and heave, it’s important to look for the common indicators even if your home is new. A regular home inspection, including a close look at the home’s foundation, can help you find and fix small issues before they grow. Foundation issues can affect all different home styles and ages.

Foundation damage affects the structure of the entire home because the walls of the original structure are connected to the home’s stem walls. Stem walls sit on top of the home’s foundation and provide the basis for the rest of the building. With additional walls and floors attached to the stem walls, a deterioration of the foundation or stem walls can cause damages throughout the home. From cracking walls to sagging floors, home damages can indicate a larger issue — damage to the foundation underneath. 

Common indicators of foundation damage in your home

If you think your own home may be at risk for foundation damage, here are some of the most common indicators to look for

  1. Wall and floor cracks
  2. Doors and windows that are difficult to open
  3. Gaps in the walls between windows, doors, and exterior walls
  4. Sagging or slanting floors
  5. A cracking, broken, or leaning chimney 
  6. Bowing basement walls
  7. Moldy, mildewy basement or crawl space
  8. Unexplained dampness or water damage in the home 

How Much Will It Cost to Fix My Foundation?

If you identify foundation damage in your home, you must fix the problem as soon as possible to keep it from getting worse and potentially affecting even more areas throughout the home. The average cost to make small foundation repairs nationwide is $3,500, according to Inch Calculator. For more advanced repairs, the cost grows on average to $10,000.

Where you live can affect the cost of foundation repairs. For instance, homeowners in major metro areas often pay an average foundation repair price higher than the national average. In Washington, D.C., the average cost for major repairs is $50,595. In Raleigh, NC, residents pay a closer-to-average cost of $11,000, and in Denver, CO, it’s $14,500. 

The most telling indicator of how much foundation damages will cost to fix, in addition to where you live, is the severity of the problem, how long it has been damaged, and what type of repairs are used to fix the problem.

What Home Buyers Should Know About Foundation Repairs 

The most important thing to note about foundation damage as a home buyer is that most states in the U.S. require homeowners to tell potential buyers about foundation damages, repairs and other related issues. That means if recent repairs have been performed, you can ask the homeowner for warranty information to protect the investment into the future.

In addition, identifying the eight common indicators of home foundation damage can help you determine whether you want to purchase a home. Either way, before you purchase a home, you’ll receive a professional home inspection that includes a close look at the foundation. If damages are identified by a professional, remember that you will need to fix the damage immediately to ensure it doesn’t spread and cause more problems, from a moldy basement or crawl space to additional water damages throughout the home. Homebuyers can ask the owner to reduce the selling price of a home to cover the cost of needed foundation repairs. 

Protecting Your Foundation Today 

As part of your annual home maintenance routine, add a check of the eight common indicators of foundation damage. If you identify any of the indicators or just want to add a regular checkup to your annual routine, you can depend on the foundation experts at Ohio Basement Authority.

Our team has seen it all and our local expertise working throughout Ohio will ensure you get the best service at an affordable price. We can provide you with a free foundation inspection, recommend customized repair solutions, and provide a free estimate today.

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