Wouldn’t it be nice if once you build your dream home, there would be no future work required?
Unfortunately, this is generally not the case. Homes are a big investment and there are many maintenance costs associated. Some are cosmetic and are a bit easier to put off if there are budget constraints. But others are structural and require regular monitoring and upkeep.
At the base of structural needs, you find the foundation of a home.
As frustrating as it may be, even the most well-fortified foundations experience stress.
My team and I are no strangers to foundation issues and help the community with their house foundation nightmares.
In this article, I want to share my expert knowledge from our experience at Restumping Melbourne, on how to first recognize what’s causing your home’s foundation to deteriorate and how to get it fixed.
Diagnose The Cause
Before you can dive in and begin to repair your foundation, it’s important to diagnose the cause behind the damage.
Not only will this help you identify the most cost and time-effective way to fix the problem, but it may also point out other effects that the damage is having on the structure of your home. There are a lot of different factors that come into play here.
Expansive Clay Soils:
The condition of the soil underneath your home is the most common root cause of foundation issues. Mother Nature ensures that the Earth beneath us is constantly shifting and changing, which is evident through much sedimentary damage throughout the world. When the ground shifts and moves, so do the supports of your foundation. There is little you can do to mitigate this, but consistent monitoring is the key to the prevention of any issues. Make sure that you’re doing regular inspections around the exterior of your home, looking for any issues like uneven floors, cracks in the exterior walls, or doors that no longer fit their frames.
I’m not just talking about floods in the bathroom. If your home doesn’t have gutters, or if the downspouts face an incorrect way, it means that an abundance of water will head straight to the foundation of your home. This has the same effect as the clay soils mentioned above, meaning that your house is not properly supported and no longer stable. Notice dark spots on your walls, or even drips from the ceiling? This is a big red flag and one that you’ll want to troubleshoot immediately. If you don’t, you could be facing collapsed floors or walls before you know it.
If you’re moving into a new home, double-check if it was built on a slab foundation. If it was, there are common pipes underneath. It’s hard to monitor these on a regular basis, given the lack of access. This means that even the smallest leak can cause standing water, which again- weakens the structural integrity of your home. I recommend investing in a plumber visit at least twice a year. The cost is nothing, compared to replacing your foundation.
Call The Experts
I’m a proponent of getting your hands dirty and sourcing DIY solutions when it makes sense. But it’s important to note that if you find a crack that is more than ¼” wide, it’s important to call in the experts. The money that it takes to call in a professional will be well worth it, over any potential injuries or long-term damage to your home.
Whether you sort it out yourself or work with an expert company, there are some key materials that are frequently used. The first of these is masonry repair epoxy. This is a sealant that helps to repair concrete cracks that were caused by building movement or site problems. Bonus points for this sealant, because it also helps protect against water leaks.
Sometimes the cracks in the foundation are more minor. In this case, they’re referred to as shrinkage cracks. Shrinkage cracks are not necessarily a structural defect, but they should still be sealed against excess water. If you’re dealing with a shrinkage crack, you should explore masonry patching compounds to do the trick.
A third and final ingredient on the roster is polyurethane foam sealant. This is a sealant designed specifically to stop water entry and it can be injected directly into the concrete of the foundation.
So what are our key takeaways?
You should always properly diagnose the root cause. If you diagnose it wrong you can waste resources and time fixing the wrong problem. If you’re going at it alone and have some know-how I recommend three of the strongest sealants to help stop the cracks in your foundation.
In many cases, it’s best to bring in an expert to diagnose and fix the problem quickly and cost-effectively. Your home’s foundation is something that should not be ignored.
For more structural foundation information you can visit the Restumping Melbourne website.