Questions and Answers

How will I know if I have a foundation problem?

If you notice any of the following, it will be important for you to get in touch with a local contractor immediately:

  • Windows and doors are difficult to open or close
  • Interior and exterior cracks form
  • Noticeable sinking can be seen on one or more sides of the home
  • Certain spots on the floor no longer feel level
  • Chimney is tilting or pulling away from the home
  • Walls are leaning into the basement

What causes structural problems?

Most often, problems are caused from poor soil conditions, improper building techniques, tree roots growing against or beneath the foundation, or water damage because of broken or leaking plumbing lines.

How long does a foundation inspection take?

It will take about an hour or two for a thorough inspection to take place. This will help the tech to better understand the root cause of the problem, any damage which has been done, and the best way to go about taking care of the situation.

How much will the repair work cost?

This is going to depend on what kind of work you need done. Filling in cracks is going to cost less than having a set of piers installed, for example. The tech who comes to your home will be able to provide you with a time and cost estimate for the project based on your home's unique needs.

What can I do to prevent damage?

Be sure that you are speaking with a professional structural specialist at the first sign of a problem so that un-necessary damage isn't done.

Can I stay in my home when the repair work is being done?

Absolutely. You will be able to stay in your home for all interior and exterior work that is being performed.

What could happen if I don't get my settlement problem fixed?

It could lead to total wall failure and an un-safe living environment for your family. Once this happens, total foundation replacement is almost always necessary, and this is much more expensive and time-consuming than getting piers installed when you first notice the problem.

Should I worry about floor cracks?

While these do not typically pose a threat to the structural integrity of a home, it will be important for you to get them filled in and sealed so that seepage can't get into the basement and cause problems.

Why do I see splitting wall cracks inside my hallway, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room, etc.?

Cracks can appear practically anywhere inside or outside of your home. However, a crack here will typically indicate an issue with settlement that will need to be taken care of with the installation of piers.

Why are there walls leaning into my basement?

These are known as bowing walls. They are caused from hydrostatic pressure in the soil surrounding the foundation pressing against the walls until it proves to be too much and they start to bend into the home. This problem can be taken care of with the installation of wall anchors.

What causes settlement?

Typically, it is caused from poor soil conditions around the home. For example, when there is an exceptionally rainy season, expansive soils can become very swollen and soggy with moisture. This may make them unable to support the load of the home, thus causing it to sink further and further into the earth.

What is hydrostatic pressure?

It is the pressure exerted from moisture in the soil. It has been known to cause everything from wall or floor cracks to bowing basement walls, and all types of structural problems in between.

What is the best foundation repair method?

There is not a single answer to this question. The "best" repair is the one that will be most effective for your home's unique situation.

Why is my chimney pulling away from the home?

This is usually an indication of a problem with settlement.

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If You've Got Foundation Questions, We've Got Foundation Answers!

At Foundation Maintenance, we get a lot of questions from people concerning their foundations. In this section we answer the most commonly asked questions. If we do not have the answer you are looking for, you can submit your question to an Expert in our Network.