The foundation of a home is the most important part. It's not just there to keep the house up. It also provides stability and support for everything else. A poorly constructed foundation can lead to many problems like cracks in the foundation wall or indoor walls, uneven floors, or even worse- leaks.
It might seem like a small issue now, but your whole house is at risk without a strong foundation. If you're thinking about skipping out on foundation repairs, here are the consequences you should know first.
Increasing Repair Costs
As the damage to your foundation worsens, the average foundation repair cost will get more expensive. It's much cheaper to fix a problem when it's first noticed than to wait until it becomes a bigger issue.
The main logic behind this is that the longer you wait, the more damage will be done. This means that the repairs will be more extensive and take longer to fix. In some cases, you might even need to replace your foundation entirely, which costs $8,000.
Not only will you have to pay more for the repairs, but you'll also have to deal with the hassle of having work done on your home.
Escalating Structural Damage
Foundation problems can cause damage to the rest of your home if they're left untreated. Cracks in the foundation can lead to cracks in the walls and ceilings. Your floors might become uneven, doors might not close properly, and windows might break.
These problems will only worsen over time, so it's important to fix them as soon as possible. If you wait too long, the damage will become irreparable, and you'll have to replace certain parts of your home.
The most common type of foundation damage is water damage. This happens when there's too much moisture in the soil, which causes the ground to expand. As the ground expands, it puts pressure on your foundation and can cause cracks.
Water can also leak into your home through these cracks, leading to mold growth and wood rot. Not only is this a health hazard, but it's also costly to fix.
Mold growth can cost $6,000 to remove, while wood rot can cost up to $10,000.
High Utility Bills
If your foundation is damaged, it can cause problems with your home's insulation. This means that your home will lose heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. As a result, your utility bills will increase.
In some cases, the damage might be so bad that you won't be able to use certain parts of your home. For example, if there are cracks in the foundation of your garage, you won't be able to park your car in there.
Difficulty Selling Your Home
If you ever decide to sell your home, having foundation damage will make it harder to find a buyer. This is because most people don't want to deal with the hassle and expense of fixing foundation problems.
Foundation damage can also lower the value of your home by 10-15%. This means that if your home is worth $100,000, it could only sell for $85,000 if there's damage to the foundation.
A Lost Chance at DIY
One of the biggest consequences of skipping out on foundation repairs is that you'll miss your chance to DIY. As explained in our guide to repair foundations by yourself, you will need some expert guidance and professional equipment but it can be feasible. If you act quickly, you might be able to fix the problem yourself with a few tools and some concrete mix.
You'll need to hire a residential structural engineer for severe damage, but it's always worth trying to fix the problem yourself first.
Have to Wait a Lot for Contractors
As we all are experienced, we have to wait for the contractor's availability when we need actual work urgently. And this waiting time is so long that sometimes it becomes more costly than the repair itself.
And if the problem is severe, you might not be able to find a contractor who's available to do the repairs right away. In some cases, you might have to wait months for the repairs to be done.
This is why it's important to fix foundation problems as soon as you notice them.
The most serious type of foundation damage is when the foundation sinks. This happens when the soil underneath the foundation can't support the weight of your home. As a result, the foundation starts to sink into the ground.
Sinking house foundations are very difficult and expensive to fix. In some cases, you might even have to demolish your home and start from scratch.
Nasty Insect Infestations
Another consequence of foundation damage is insect infestations. When there are cracks in your foundation, insects can easily get into your home. These include termites, ants, and cockroaches.
These insects are a nuisance, but they can also cause severe damage to your home. Termites alone can cause $5 billion in damage every year.
Mildew or Mold Nightmare
Mildew and mold can also grow in your home due to foundation damage. This is because water can leak into your home through the cracks and provide the perfect environment for mold to grow.
Not only is mold unsightly, but it's also a health hazard. It can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation, and headaches.
Mold is also very difficult to remove. In some cases, you might have to hire a professional to eliminate it.
If your foundation is damaged, it can cause your plumbing to leak. This is because the cracks can affect the pipes that run through your foundation. As a result, water can start to leak into your home.
Leaking pipes can cause serious water damage and mold growth. They can also be very expensive to fix.
Tips to Prevent Foundation Issues
Now that you know the consequences of not fixing settling foundation problems, here are some tips to prevent them:
If you don't fix foundation problems, your home will become increasingly unstable and eventually collapse.
Simply, you will compromise with your home's structural integrity. Cracks in the walls, doors that won't close properly, and breaking windows are all signs that your foundation is failing.
Don't wait until it's too late to get your house in order - call a foundation repair specialist today.
David is the lead content editor at RVA Paving Pros, a service for Richmond VA residents. In his spare time, David likes to travel, read about business and visit the finest italian restaurants in town!
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