If you’re in need of foundation repair, it can be tempting to put off. After all, the cracks and tilted concrete that comes with foundation problems come about very slowly, often over the course of years. So if it wasn’t a problem yesterday, is it really a problem today?
In most cases, the answer is simply yes, it is a problem. In fact, it was most likely a problem before you even noticed there was anything wrong. By the time you see the effects of a weak foundation, a good deal of damage has already occurred out of sight. Now that you can see the problem, it means that you should definitely get things taken care of. Here are some very good reasons to not delay foundation repairs any longer.
Water is a primary cause of foundation problems and then becomes one of the primary means of subsequent damage to a home. First, water can wash away the soil from the foundation of a home, removing the support from the walls and allowing them to crack. Unfortunately, this means that the water is now able to get into the newly formed crack. It then causes the crack to widen, and eventually the water can get into the house.
Of course, once water gets into the house it leads to a hose of other problems, such as…
Mold and Mildew
Whenever there’s unchecked water in a home, the chances of mold and mildew invading are nearly 100 percent. Both mold and mildew love water, and they survive on the cellulose in the wood frame and the paper backing on drywall.
Mildew isn’t a huge problem, and it can generally be dealt with by using a bleach solution. It’s black mold that can really cause problems to the people inhabiting a building. Black mold, AKA toxic mold, can spread throughout a house by releasing its spores into their air. Most people are allergic to these spores to some degree, and the first sign of toxic mold is often people who have allergic reactions indoors instead of outdoors. Black mold can be even more nefarious in some people, leading to confusion, dizziness, and depression.
Black mold isn’t the only thing you have to worry about invading your home when foundation repair is needed. You’ll also have to deal with…
Insect and Critter Invasion
Raise your hand if you want insects in your home. Unless you’re an entomologist, we’re guessing you have no interest in having the creepy crawlies inside your house (and even entomologists don’t want ants, termites, or cockroaches invading their space).
When the foundation cracks, it’s creating gaps in a home where there were no gaps before. This might be in the basement, but it will often be around siding and in garages as well. Insects are going to take every opportunity they can, so don’t be surprised if a crack in the foundation leads to an increase in spiders, centipedes, ants, and roaches in your home.
If the problem gets worse, so can the animals. While mice might be kinda cute, you do not want them in your home. They can carry disease, eat your food, and leave their feces everywhere. Oh, and they can get through a hole that’s the diameter of a dime, so if you see any gaps larger than that, it’s definitely time for foundation repair.
And speaking of gaps in your home…
Broken Thermal Envelope
Houses are intentionally built in order to create a tight thermal envelope so that they can keep the inside temperature as constant as possible. This makes sure that as little energy (and money) as possible is put into heating a cooling a home.
Unfortunately, this thermal envelope can be compromised when a building needs foundation repair. Yes, racks can let in outside air, but the bigger problem is that a damaged foundation will also cause the house to list and lead to gaps around windows and doors. Which leads us to…
The foundation is the…well, foundation of your house. It’s the part on which everything else rests, so when something goes wrong with the foundation the rest of the house is going to suffer. A foundation that’s even just slightly cracked can put added pressure on the frame and literally tear parts of the house apart as it pulls it in opposite directions.
When you notice a crack in your foundation, take a look at the interior of the house. Are there cracks at the corners? Do doors not close like they should? Have windows been harder to put up or down? Many of these problems will show up throughout the house, but they’re more likely to start upstairs.
And it’s not just the parts of the house above ground that you have to worry about. A broken foundation can also lead to…
There are two ways that pipes can get damaged in a home that needs foundation repair. The most susceptible pipes are often underground, and they might even be the cause of the foundation problems in the first place if they’re the ones providing the leaking water. As the pipes leak water, they wash soil away and allow the pavement over it to crack and fall. When this happens, the pipes can be crushed from the overlying concrete slab. This might not be obvious at first, but the problems can get worse over time.
Though less common, pipes within the house can also be damaged by a tilting frame. If the frame of the house becomes too tilted, it can take pipes — both freshwater and wastewater — with it, pulling the joints apart.
Everything we’ve talked about so far can lead to …
Escalating Repair Costs
Here’s the thing about a cracked foundation: it never gets better. In fact, it just keeps getting worse and worse over the years, creating more problems and increasing the cost of repair. After a while, it’s not just the cost of the foundation repair you have to take into account. Suddenly you have to get a handyman to patch the walls, a mold tech to clear the air, and an exterminator to get rid of the rodents. Fixing the problem now can ensure you don’t have to fix the problem in the future.
Contact Top Notch Services At the First Sign of Trouble!
If you have any indication that you are suffering from structural problems, it’s important to get it taken care of as soon as possible in order to prevent the many problems we detailed above. If you find problems, it’s time to call the experts. Contact Top Notch Services and protect your home!