How Bad Is Foundation Damage?

Posted by Justin Havre on Tuesday, December 19th, 2017 at 10:31am.

How Bad Is Foundation Damage?Small cracks over windows or doors may be a problem. Foundation cracks and damage are a cause for concern but in many cases foundation cracks are an affordable fix. There are times when foundation damage makes for a more expensive repair. Either way, Canadian homeowners who see cracks in a home or other types of foundation damage may want to address early signs to protect their home's value.

Keep repair costs relatively low by addressing initial signs of foundation damage. Understand more about foundation damage and how much of an issue some types of damage may be today.

Cracks Are Common

Over time, many solid construction materials can expand and contract. This can lead to shrinkage and potential cracks. Moisture and temperature can affect masonry blocks and poured concrete. Action needs to be taken when the cracks appear to be worsening or appear as a significant problem from the outset. Some cracks may need urgent repair, such as when there is a risk of collapse, while others may be less of a priority.

Many types of foundation cracks are unlikely to impact the structural integrity of a Peachland home, such as those from initial settlement or concrete shrinkage. An inspector can help determine the amount of potential damage and the cause of foundation movement or damage. The inspector may provide additional guidance as to how to approach repairs and how to create an environment to reduce the likelihood of the progression of current cracks and formation of new foundation damage.

Signs of Damage to the Foundation

Older homes may settle over time. A cracked wall may not indicate a big problem. Initial signs of foundation damage include:

  • Doors that being to jam or will not latch;
  • Cracks that form between ceramic tiles laid over concrete;
  • Windows that stick and will not close fully; and
  • Cracks over doorways and the intersection of a home's walls and ceiling.

If cracks appear to get larger over time, it may require professional attention and it may be more expensive to address the cause of such a crack. In addition, cracks in masonry joints are among those of a more serious nature. Cracks forming in an L-shape section and hairline cracks in the mortar are less of an issue. Cracks that can serve as a signal of foundation settlement often involve:

  • Drywall cracks
  • Stair-step cracks
  • Tilting chimneys

Stair-step cracks indicate advanced settlement in a home. Foundation settlement can be addressed with the installation of foundation piers which serve to stabilize the structure of a home. Those homes with horizontal or vertical cracks need to be professionally inspected. In addition, homes with concrete that can be easily chipped away may require more drastic intervention. It can be expensive to replace foundation when the concrete itself is creating such a problem.

Safety of a Home with Foundation Damage

The majority of Canadian homeowners may not be aware of any foundation damage in a home and may live comfortably for years. This is the case of cracks and foundation damage at an early stage. Without intervention, foundation problems often progress. This may become an issue and reduce the value of a home when it comes time to sell. It can cost money to repair a foundation issue. Costs for a structural engineer may run up to $700, without taking into account an additional engineered solution or the repair itself. Speak with an experienced specialist to learn whether or not specific foundation cracks or damage is a reason for concern and what associated repair costs may be in your area.

Justin Havre

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