Sinking foundations, cracked and buckled walls, and uneven floors are problems commonly faced by some quarter-million homeowners on an annual basis. Homes situated on unstable soils, including clay or sand, settle when their foundations are subjected to extreme moisture conditions or lack proper drainage. Houses built on back-fill lots may be in danger of weakened foundations because of potential air pockets in the soil or the soil composition itself. Even something as simple as rain run-off from the roof and allowing the water to ‘pool’ can cause a foundation to shift. A shifting foundation may result in structural damage to your home and a major loss of your biggest investment.
The following information will help you determine if your house has foundation problems, what to look for, and why foundation repair by a specialist may be the next prudent step. It is always best to tackle the issue head on and hire a specialist that will fix the problem once and for all.
Cracks are clearly the first and easiest signs to notice. On the interior of the house, look for them at all the corners of doors and windows; at joints where walls meet walls, ceilings or doors, for signs that the structures are pulling away from each other. Look, too, for cracks in a brick fireplace wall.
Check the exposed concrete at the base of the house. Small cracks may indicate nonstructural factors or the first sign of major problems ahead. It’s advisable not to ignore them.
While opening and closing all doors, notice ones that stick and squeak.
Notice any separation of door sills from their frames.
Open and close all windows noting which ones stick or do not fit squarely without binding.
Examine walls and ceilings for nails that may be working themselves out of sheetrock or gypsum board.
Look at wallpaper for signs of curls and separations.
If there are existing sheetrock repairs, check for curling and tearing.
Outside the house, note any caulking that has pulled away from exterior surfaces. Inspect the bottom corners of windows and doors to see whether cracks run diagonally, along mortar joints in a brick veneer.
Detect cracks and uneven elevations in structures attached to adjoining patios.
Notice nails popping out of corner frames.
When you’ve made your list of warning signs and determined that hiring a foundation repair contractor is the next step, research your choices and consider these questions.
Did the contractor:
-thoroughly inspect your home?
-explain in detail the proposed work he is recommending?
-provide you with a time frame for completion of work?
-provide you with a written estimate of material and labor costs on a timely basis?
-provide copies of warranties along with the contract?
-detail his experience and give you a list of references that you can contact?
-have proper state registrations and licenses?
-have the proper insurance including liability and worker’s compensation?
-earn your trust as a true professional?
Foundation problems only worsen with time. The sooner they are addressed, the less costly they will be.
Bix Service specializes in foundation repair in Peoria, IL and other surrounding areas. They can provide you with a free foundation repair quote in Burlington, IA and the surrounding areas in Illinois and Missouri.