Foundation damage can be a nightmare, but it's not one that you're likely to wake up from without taking quick action. Leaving your foundation issues unaddressed can lead to more costly and severe problems and may ultimately cause your home to become uninhabitable. While the expense of repairing a foundation can be high, there may be some cost-effective options in certain situations.
Your repair approach will depend both on the type of foundation and the extent of the damage. Choosing the correct option can help to ensure a lasting repair that won't lead to additional costs in the future.
Recognizing Cracks vs. Foundation Failures
Foundation repairs tend to fall into two general categories: stabilization and crack repair. A foundation that is sinking or shifting requires stabilization to prevent further damage. If the foundation continues to sink, it will eventually compromise the structural integrity of the whole home. On the other hand, cracks by themselves do not pose any hazards as long as you do not ignore them.
Unfortunately, many homeowners first notice serious problems when they spot a crack. Small cracks may appear as a foundation settles or the concrete's moisture content changes. In most cases, a contractor can patch or seal this type of damage without needing to do any additional repairs. You will likely need more significant repairs if the crack is part of a larger problem.
Understanding Your Problem
Talented do-it-yourselfers may be able to repair tiny cracks on their own, but you may not be saving much money by immediately tackling foundation problems yourself. If the gap indicates deeper trouble, then you will only be putting a band aid over a potentially fatal wound. Instead, always have a professional contractor evaluate cracks before proceeding.
When your foundation is sinking, you'll need to determine the underlying cause before addressing the symptoms. Foundations can often shift due to changing soil conditions, poor installation, or water infiltration. Given enough time, a sinking foundation can cause interior damage to your home and even lead to a collapse.
Taking a Cost-Effective Approach
Because the consequences of foundation failure are so severe, the cheapest option is rarely the most cost-effective one. For example, failing to address drainage issues that are causing your soil to shift can potentially compromise any repairs that you make. A professional contractor will be able to spot these issues and recommend steps to repair them.
Ultimately, saving money when repairing your foundation is about ensuring that the job only needs to be performed once. If you take the time to fix your underlying issues, then your foundation repair is likely to last for much longer, saving you money over the long run and allowing you to enjoy your home for years to come. To learn more about foundation repair, contact a company like Du-West Foundation Repair.