Whether you’ve just moved into a new home or you’ve lived in the same place for years, there’s always a chance that your foundation may be taking on damage. Common foundation problems are common for a reason. What kind of trouble should you be on the lookout for?
First-Year Homeowners: What Foundation Problems to Watch For
Moving into a brand new home is always exciting. As you unpack your things, you’ll want to keep an eye out for any signs of damage in your basement or crawl space. Cracks in the walls and sinkage in the yard can all indicate foundation damage that the previous owners may have let slide.
Even if your home looks perfect, there’s still a chance that you may have some problems with your foundation throughout your first year as a homeowner. Some of the most common foundation problems to encounter include but are not limited to:
- Sticking doors and windows
- Unpleasant smells
When you first go about purchasing a home, you don’t have too much control over what condition the foundation is in. You do have the right to ask the previous homeowners about any problems they ran into while they were living on the property. Similarly, you can request that area professionals inspect the foundation of this property before committing to a sale. If it appears that the foundation of the home has suffered from some damage, you may be able to negotiate for a lower selling point as the original homeowners invest in repairs.
Fifth-Year Homeowners: What Foundation Problems to Watch For
Moving into a new home for the first time may be exciting, but there’s nothing quite as nice as waking up and knowing you’re in a place you’ve made for yourself. As you enter your fifth year as a homeowner, you may think you’ve got all your potential foundation problems under wraps. Think again, though. If you missed any problems during your first few years owning a home, or if you’ve been dealing with a bad bout of weather, your foundation may start to show signs of wear and tear. Some of the most common foundation problems to run into later in your tenure as a homeowner include:
- Wall and floor cracks
- Bowing walls
These aren’t problems you want to try and contend with on your own. No foundation problem can be easily solved with elbow grease and DIY strategies. Instead, if you suspect that something’s wrong with your foundation, reach out to area professionals. You can address the problem together and invest in home waterproofing measures that may keep the damage from reappearing in the future.
10th-Year Homeowners: What Foundation Problems to Watch For
Ten years into homeownership, it can feel as though you’ve already run the gauntlet of foundation problems, but there are still challenges your foundation may throw your way. Some of the most common problems to run into 10 years down the line include:
- Sinking concrete
- Severe flooding
Unfortunately, some of these “later in life” problems can require significant upheaval around your property. If, for example, your concrete’s expanded to the point where it’s pushed your structural supports out of alignment, you may need to replace both the concrete and the damaged supports. If you’re not sure how to proceed, reach out to an area contractor to better explore the options you have available to you.
Why Is Your Foundation Damaged?
Foundation damage doesn’t appear on a whim. Instead, there are a few different forces that can put your foundation at risk for decay. Tree roots, unstable soil, insects, and leaking pipes all make it more difficult to keep your foundation in top shape, for example. More often than not, you can trace a foundation’s many problems back to hydrostatic pressure.
Hydrostatic pressure is a force that builds when water comes into contact with the materials that make up your foundation. Water changes the temperature of these materials, forcing them to shrink and expand at a more rapid pace than they naturally would. Those changes in size can cause your foundation to come under stress. To cope with that stress, your foundation may develop cracks, let more water inside, and generally perpetuate its own decay.
The only way to get ahead of this kind of damage is to ensure that your foundation, basement, or crawl space is waterproofed. A watertight home is at less risk for damage, whether you’ve just moved in or you’ve been in place for years.
Repairing Common Foundation Problems
Don’t try to repair common foundation problems on your own or let them get out of hand. Instead, reach out to the professional contractors serving Grand Rapids, MI. You can explore your home during an in-house inspection and determine why it is that you’ve been dealing with excess moisture, flooding, cracks, or other problems over the years. Area professionals at FSM can provide you with a free services quote detailing what kind of care your foundation may need and how you can go about protecting your foundation from similar damage in the years to come.