When you notice signs of foundation damage, either cracks in your foundation walls, or doors and windows sticking upstairs, the next step you take is critical to the long-term health of your home and your wallet. Because foundation damage usually happens in stages, the stage at which you address it will determine the extent and cost of the repairs you’ll need.
Foundation problems that aren’t directly tied to poor construction, drought, or building on poor soil the wrong land, typically begin with too much water directed around the foundation. At the beginning stages of foundation problems, redirecting the water may be all you need to stop further damage. However, if the water has been oversaturating your foundation for a while or the damage is now more advanced, you’ll need to both manage the water and repair the foundation.
Don’t be surprised if each opinion differs greatly when calling on multiple contractors to repair the issue. One contractor might address only the symptoms while another also identifies and treats the root cause. So how can you figure out if you’re being recommended a band-aid or a true long-term cure? Below are some things that can help you decide.
A quality foundation repair estimate should be based on information collected during a comprehensive review of your property. The estimator should have discussed with you the problem’s history, performed a close visual inspection of the current state of the problem, and when required used instruments to accurately measure and determine the extent of the damage.
The repairs outlined in the estimate should involve a quality repair that goes beyond non-specialty DIY materials found at your typical “Big Box Stores”. It should be using heavy-duty commercial-grade materials installed liberally along the structure to be repaired. In broad terms, if a company is recommending a nail, you should find a company that will routinely use screws or bolts instead.
Foundation repairs can be expensive when done correctly. Your foundation is no place to cut corners because it’s keeping the rest of your house standing. If the repair you choose doesn’t fix everything the first time, a second time to have it repaired correctly. You will be the one paying the price.
Make sure the professional you’re talking to about repairs explains what is happening to your foundation, why it’s happening, and exactly what measures are going to be taken to correct the current damage and the source that’s causing it. Don’t let a contractor leave you with unanswered questions.
Repairing foundations properly, especially ones that have become unstable, requires a lot of experience. Look for a company that can provide references of people they’ve helped with similar problems to yours and is well respected in the industry and by their vendors.
Your foundation repair estimate should provide clear details as to what will and will not be done as part of your project. Make sure to read and understand all the details as to what is and isn’t covered and the General Conditions.
Some warranties promise to repair or replace the materials used to fix the foundation but say nothing about protecting the foundation from further damage. The better warranties protect the results. Remember a warranty is only as valuable as your ability to get it enforced.
Foundation repairs are serious business and you should hire only the true expert. At AMC911 Foundation & Waterproofing Repair Systems, we treat every customer’s project as if we were doing it at our own house.