Every home is built on top of a foundation, which keeps groundwater out and supports the weight of the house. The foundation of your home should last forever, but it won’t if it’s not properly maintained. The key to proper maintenance is knowing how to spot the common signs of foundation problems so you can make the necessary repairs as quickly as possible.
How Do You Know If You Have A Foundation Problem?
There are a number of signs of foundation problems that homeowners should keep an eye out for, including:
- Difficulty Closing Windows and Doors
- Cracks in the Wall
- Chipping or Flaking Concrete
- Cracks in the Foundation
- Uneven Flooring
Difficulty Closing Windows and Doors
A window or door that won’t close properly may not seem like a major issue, but this could be a sign of foundation damage.
A shift in the foundation could cause the doors and windows to shift inside their frames. As a result, the doors and windows will sit at a slight angle inside their frames, which makes opening and closing them more difficult. If you are having this issue, it’s best to have a professional inspect your foundation.
Cracks in the Wall
Cracks can start to appear in the walls inside your home as a result of foundation damage. The cracks can appear on any wall, however, they are especially common in areas above windows and doors and where the wall meets the ceiling.
Chipping or Flaking Concrete
If your concrete is chipping or flaking, this could indicate that there is a major problem with your foundation. Test the strength of your concrete foundation by poking it with a screwdriver in multiple places chosen at random. If small pieces of concrete start to break off, the foundation could be deteriorating.
Cracks in the Foundation
Some parts of a damaged foundation may sink deeper into the ground than others. If this happens, cracks may start to appear in the foundation.
A crack in the foundation does not always indicate serious damage. Hairline cracks that develop between concrete bricks are usually nothing to worry about. Stair-step cracks that appear in the mortar between concrete bricks are more serious, especially if the cracks are more than a quarter-inch wide.
Horizontal cracks in the foundation are the most alarming. This type of crack could indicate serious structural damage that needs to be addressed immediately.
Pay attention to your flooring if you are concerned about foundation problems. If your foundation is shifting underground, the flooring may start to slant in one direction. The slant may not be immediately noticeable, but it will become more obvious over time as the foundation continues to shift.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix the Foundation Of A House?
The cost to fix a foundation can vary drastically depending on the severity of the problem. Homeowners spend an average of $620 on minor repairs, such as fixing small cracks in the foundation. If the damage is caused by water leaks, the repairs typically cost between $2,500 and $5,000.
If your foundation is sinking into the ground, concrete piers may need to be installed to prevent further damage. The average cost of a concrete pier installation is $1,340 per pier. Each home has 8-10 piers, which brings the total cost of this repair to between $10,720 to $13,400.
If there is extensive damage, the entire foundation will need to be removed and replaced. This involves lifting the home, destroying the existing foundation, and laying a new foundation. This extreme repair can cost between $25,000 and $100,000. Fortunately, it is rare for a home to require this repair.
Is Foundation Damage Covered By Homeowners’ Insurance?
Most homeowners’ insurance policies will cover some types of foundation damage, including:
- Damage caused by certain natural disasters
- Damage caused by plumbing problems, explosions, or fires
However, homeowners’ insurance policies typically will not cover foundation damage caused by:
- General wear and tear or age of the foundation
- Faulty construction
- Tree root growth
- Natural settling or sinking
- Earthquakes or floods (unless you have earthquake or flood insurance)
Every homeowners’ insurance policy is different, so it’s best to review the terms of your policy to determine whether or not you are covered prior to paying for foundation repairs.
Protect the Foundation of Your Home
It’s important to address issues with your foundation as quickly as possible in order to prevent further damage and costly repairs. Keep an eye out for these signs of foundation problems so you can protect the structural integrity of your home.