4 Things Homebuyers Need To Know About Foundation Repair
Buying a new home means inspecting every aspect of your purchase, including the foundation. Foundation problems are a glaring red alert for many homebuyers, but not every issue has to be a deal-breaker. Discovering issues with your future dream home's foundation doesn't necessarily mean that it's time to walk away. Of course, your first step should always be to hire an experienced foundation contractor to conduct a thorough inspection. Once you've done this, here are four more things you should keep in mind about any trouble that you uncover.
1. Most Problems Are Repairable
While it's easy to imagine catastrophic foundation issues condemning a home forever, foundation experts can fix many severe problems. It may even be possible to replace a home's foundation without tearing down the rest of the structure. Because you will usually have options, it's crucial to evaluate the extent of the damage, the underlying cause of the problem, and the rest of the house's condition.
If you find that a house checks most of your boxes and is otherwise in excellent shape, then you may want to consider taking the necessary steps to shore up the foundation.
2. Not All Cracks Spell Doom
Cracks in a foundation usually indicate trouble, but the extent of the damage can vary significantly. Horizontal cracks with inward bowing walls point to major structural problems, and repairing this type of damage usually involves adding piers for support. This type of repair can cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.
On the other hand, vertical cracks usually form due to uneven settling. Although any crack is a problem, contractors can sometimes fill and patch vertical cracks to prevent them from worsening.
3. Piers Are Permanent
If you find that a home you want to buy will require significant repairs, don't assume that this will permanently weaken the structure. Foundation contractors typically repair sinking homes by driving support piers below the foundation. These piers go deep and help to both raise the foundation and prevent it from sinking again.
Competently executed foundation repairs are permanent, so these should be a one-time cost. Once you fix the problem, you won't have to worry about it returning in the future.
4. You Can't Ignore the Problem
Although you shouldn't use foundation problems to rule out an otherwise perfect purchase, you also cannot ignore them. Unaddressed foundation issues can grow worse over time and may eventually cause your home to become uninhabitable. Whether you intend to pay for repairs yourself or bargain with the seller, always have a plan in place to repair any foundation faults you discover.
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