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Structural Foundation Damage – Don’t Keep Making Above-Ground Repairs

Oct 19, 2012 • By Matthew Stock.

Structural Foundation Damage – Don't Keep Making Above-Ground Repairs

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you’ll find all kinds of resources for fixing cracks in drywall and making stuck doors and windows open again. 

Just for drywall cracks alone, there’s article after article in magazines and online about securing cracked drywall and covering up those pesky cracks that emanate from the corners of doors and windows.  There’s also an array of products in the DIY aisles at the local home superstore, ranging from special spackle to varieties of tape and even a spray to apply to a repaired crack that are intended to keep cracks from recurring.

Sounds like everything you need, right?  Probably not.

Why Structural Foundation Damage Will Undo Your Repairs Every Time

Look, it’s not always a bad idea to repair cracks in drywall and realign windows and doors.  If your home was built recently, some minor settlement may have occurred that won’t happen again and your repairs will be fine for the foreseeable future.  However, if you’re fixing the same “settlement” cracks and redoing the same doors every few years, not only are you wasting your time and money, you’re ignoring a potentially serious problem with your home’s foundation.

There are two main sources of structural foundation damage that will cause, and keep causing, problems in the above-ground living areas of your home.

Sinking Foundation – The weather conditions in 2012 have been a perfect setting for sinking foundations.  If you had neglected to properly manage water around your foundation by keeping gutters clean of debris, extending your downspouts away from the foundation and proper grading and landscaping, the soil around and under your foundation likely became saturated and expanded.  When this summer’s drought hit, this expanded soil dried out and shrank, allowing outer corners of your foundation to sink.

Foundation Wall Movement — The soil around your foundation exerts a lot of pressure against your foundation walls under normal circumstances and that pressure intensifies when the soil expands from saturation.  If your walls are constructed from concrete block, the walls may bow or bulge in the middle.  If they are poured concrete, increased pressure will cause them to separate from the bottom of the house and tip inwards.  Both will cause above-ground damage.

In either of the above scenarios of foundation damage, there will be a downward shifting of the structure of your home and all those carefully repaired cracks will re-open and doors and windows will stick shut -– again.  If all you do is break out the spackle and the crowbar, you could be making a big mistake.  Cracked drywall and stuck windows, although unsightly and annoying, are merely symptoms of a much bigger problem and if you ignore it in favor of cosmetic repair, well, you’ve heard that remark about deck chairs on the Titanic, haven’t you?

If your drywall is cracking and doors are hard to open and close, you really need a professional evaluation of your home’s foundation.  The experts in structural foundation repairs at U.S. Waterproofing have the knowledge and experience to diagnose your problem and recommend the best, most cost-effective solution.  Just ask for a free consultation.

Tags: signs of foundation problems, structural foundation damage, home foundation repair, settlement cracks

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