WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN A FOUNDATION REPAIR CONTRACTOR?
Here are a few questions you should ask when deciding to hire a foundation repair contractor:
1. Do they offer a lifetime warranty?
2. If so, are there ever any service fees to come back to your home?
3. Is the warranty valid only for the owner that has the work done or is it for the life of the home?
4. What is their local Better Business Bureau rating?
5. If there have been problems reported to the BBB, did the company take measures to address the concerns?
6. Do they have a physical address? (many startup companies use a PO Box as their place of business. Should problems arise, finding owners or anyone willing to help you can be difficult.)
7. How long have they been in business?
8. Are they offering names of previous customers that you can check with?
WHAT IS THE TYPICAL COST OF A FOUNDATION REPAIR?
There is no typical cost. Depending on the extent and severity of the damage, the number of piers to be installed, and the overall scope of the work, overall cost can range from $1,500 to over $20,000.
IS IT SAFE TO LIVE IN A HOME WITH FOUNDATION PROBLEMS?
Living in a house with a foundation issue isn’t risk-free, but it also isn’t necessarily going to pose an immediate safety risk. In fact, many people currently live in homes with foundation problems without even knowing it. Foundation issues develop over time, and it can often take many years for one to become serious enough to threaten your safety. That said, if you suspect an issue with your foundation, you should not wait to have it assessed by a professional contractor. It’s better to have the issue corrected early than to wait for it to get worse and more complicated (and expensive) to fix.
CAN YOU REPAIR A FOUNDATION YOURSELF?
Some foundation issues may potentially be repaired by a handy DIY-er as long as the issue is cosmetic rather than structural in nature. For example, you may be able to apply crack sealer to hairline cracks caused by settling in the first year or two after construction. If, for example, you have a problem like a large crack accompanied by a bulging foundation wall, you absolutely need to call a foundation repair contractor right away. If you are ever unsure whether a crack or other issue is anything to worry about, it’s better to be safe than sorry and consult a professional instead of going straight to the DIY approach.
WHEN IS A FOUNDATION CRACK SERIOUS?
Not all cracks are cause for alarm, but you should keep an eye on them regardless. Small vertical or diagonal hairline cracks are caused by shrinkage and are usually nothing to worry about. Horizontal foundation cracks are caused by hydrostatic (water) pressure and often an indication of a more serious problem. You should also be on the lookout for any cracks that change direction or vertical cracks that are wider at the top than the bottom. If you see either of these, or if you have noticed that your floors are sloping or walls are bulging in addition any cracks you’ve found, don’t wait to call a local foundation repair company ASAP for an assessment.