The foundation under your home is the main support for the entire home. If it is damaged, the home can start to sink or sag in areas, causing damage inside and out. Watching for signs of damage and having the foundation checked immediately is important. Here are some things to watch for and some suggestions should the foundation under your home needs repair.
Signs The Your Foundation Needs Inspection
The only way to tell if your foundation is in need of repair is to have it inspected by a qualified foundation repair contractor. There are some things to watch for that may indicate a problem but the foundation needs to be evaluated because of those issues rather than using them as a sign of damage. Cracking wallboard or seams is sometimes an indication of sag in the structure but can be caused by other things as well. If the floor starts to sag in one part of the house, that can also indicate a problem with the foundation in that area. On the outside of the home, you might see cracked blocks or concrete near the ground around the base of the house. This is the foundation and that damage is a sign that something is not right.
After the Inspection
The contractor that you hire to inspect the foundation will look it over from the inside, the outside, and under the house to get a clear picture of the problem. Once the inspection is complete, the contractor should give you a full report of what he found and a recommendation about how to repair it. If the house needs a new foundation under it, it will involve jacking up the house to remove the existing foundation and building the new one then setting the house on it. This level of repair is expensive but if it is done right, it will last the lifetime of the home.
If your current foundation is made of concrete block, it does not mean you have to keep that structure. If the entire foundation is being replaced, the contractor can pour a concrete foundation instead. Talk to the contractor about what he feels the best solution is for your home and soil type so you can make a decision together. The size of the home, the soil under it, and the building code may all impact the type of foundation that is going to be best for your home. While the cost may be cheaper for one over the other, at the end of the day, making sure that the foundation does its job and lasts for years to come is most important so choosing to go the cheaper route is not always the best solution.