What to do When Your Client Has Home Foundation Issues

When listing a property for sale, your client will need to be aware of any home foundation issues that could result in costly repairs or detriments to property value. Foundations come in all shapes and sizes, which means signs of foundation damage can vary from property to property. Understanding what kind of foundation damage and repairs are needed can help your client gain an accurate picture of their home value and any costs that may be required before putting it on the market.

How to Spot Home Foundation Issues

You can help your client look for signs of foundation issues by giving the house a thorough examination. While not all home foundation issues require immediate attention, it’s important to remember that all foundation damage will worsen over time if not addressed. Signs of early, minor foundation deterioration can eventually turn into severe and costly damage, so it’s better to address these issues before extensive repairs are needed. Here are several indicators that range from minor to severe.

Early Signs

Cracks in Interior Walls

Cracks in drywall can occur from high humidity or water damage from your roof, but the presence of interior cracks independent of these factors means your foundation could be uneven.

Water Not Draining Properly

High moisture soil is one of the most common causes of foundation issues. If water seems to run toward the property instead of away from it, or if water collects in the yard instead of draining properly, foundation issues could be the cause. Eventually, most drainage problems will lead to foundation damage.

Chimney Separating From the Structure

If your client’s chimney shows signs of separating from the structure of the home, it could indicate foundation problems.

Plumbing Issues

As a foundation settles, it can cause plumbing to fail. While many plumbing issues can be unrelated to the foundation, repeated repairs and issues may be indicative of a foundation that hasn’t been stabilized yet.

Bugs in the House

Another issue that may or may not be related to the foundation is how many bugs your client has to deal with. Centipedes, pillbugs, earwigs, carpenter ants, and roaches are drawn to moist areas and will usually make their way into a house through foundation cracks.

Severe Signs

Cracks in Exterior Walls

Some of the biggest indicators of severe foundation damage will be fairly noticeable. For example, cracks found on exterior walls are almost always caused by foundation issues when brick siding becomes uneven as soil shifts underneath the house.

Floors Are Uneven or Sagging

There’s likely to be severe foundation damage present when floors have become noticeably uneven. Inadequate foundation waterproofing can cause water to creep in and warp them.

Doors and Windows Are Sticking

If your client’s property is in an area with little-to-no humidity, yet they have doors and windows that frequently stick or won’t open and close all the way, this is a sign that the foundation has twisted the frames out of balance.

Walls Separating From the House

Any spaces found between the wall and the ceiling or the wall and the floor are usually a warning sign that foundation issues are pulling the structure apart.

Keep in mind, while all of these signs can point to potential foundation issues, they may also indicate an unrelated problem. The only way to know for sure that you are experiencing home foundation issues is to have an expert evaluation.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Finding a cost-effective and quick solution is critical to getting your client’s home on the market. An inspection and report from a structural engineer can cost between $300 and $800, while a soil report from a geotechnical engineer ranges between $500 to $2,000, depending on the complexity of the problem and the amount of detail needed for the report.

These reports can help pinpoint the exact nature of the problem, which will give the repair contractor all of the information they need to get the job done right. Depending on what kind of pier is used (steel or concrete), how deep the contractor has to go to reach the stable soil, and what the local labor rates are, repair totals can cost $6,000 to $12,000 and can run as high as $30,000 in severe cases.

The total cost of repairing a damaged foundation ranges from relatively inexpensive to very costly, depending upon the type of repairs needed. That’s why properly determining the source and extent of damage is a vital factor when determining a cost-benefit analysis for your client.

Expert Evaluation

Scheduling reports and visits with independent contractors will only mean more time and energy is spent before you even make a single repair. Call Perma Pier for a no-cost, thorough evaluation and price estimate. We’ll diagnose any home foundation issues and provide a comprehensive no-charge price estimate. Instead of going through multiple channels, you can get to the right solution, right away.

Your client can be confident in our 25-years of experience in service and foundation repair across the state of Texas. Schedule a free evaluation today and get your client’s home on the market!

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