Many parts of the country have experienced winter rain and snowfalls well above their respective seasonal averages. This will be followed by summer months that are typically much drier. These dramatic fluctuations in the moisture content of our soils can put significant pressure on a home’s concrete foundation. This can result in varying degrees of damage that, left unchecked, can have a negative impact on the structural integrity of your home.
Terrell & Co Contracting, based in Lewisburg, PA., specializes in concrete foundation repair. They offer the following information and recommendations for anyone concerned about the health of their home’s foundation.
Has Your Foundation Been Compromised? Some Potential Signs
Most of us can sense when something is amiss with our home. If you suspect that you may have issues with your foundation, there are a few things you can look for.
- Visible Cracks and Fractures: External cracks in brick or concrete can be an indication of an underlying foundation issue. Cracks on internal ceilings and walls can be the result of foundation movement.
- Sticking Doors and Windows: Have you noticed doors and/or windows that no longer open and close the way they used to? This is a common symptom of a foundation problem.
- Uneven Flooring: A foundation problem will often manifest itself in changes in your flooring—humps, sagging, bowing, etc.
Terrell & Co Contracting feels strongly that knowledge is power. Being aware of what to look for will enable you to spot problems earlier rather than later.
Don’t Panic – Get an Inspection
Once you have determined that you may have a foundation problem, don’t panic or assume the worst. Some issues may be relatively minor while others may be more significant. Terrell and Co Contracting is a strong proponent of having a foundation expert perform an inspection of your home. Get more than one estimate if needed. Once you have been provided with objective information you can begin making informed decisions regarding appropriate actions to take.
If Repair is Needed, Don’t Procrastinate
In some cases, very minor symptoms (sticking doors and windows, ceiling cracks, etc.) will partially self-resolve from season to season. However, in most cases, some level of foundation repair will be required to permanently address your problems. If finances permit, it is always advisable to have the work done as soon as possible. Left unchecked, a small foundation problem can evolve into a much larger problem over time, resulting in more costly repair work.
Choose Your Contractor Carefully
Not all contractors are equal. Spending some time researching the contractors in your area will be well worth the effort. Terrell and Co Contracting recommends the following checklist as a guide:
- Experience: How long has the contractor been in business? How long have they been repairing concrete foundations?
- Testimonials/References: Can the contractor provide references for foundation work they have performed? Do they have a website? If so, check to see if they have testimonials from satisfied clients.
- Trust Your Instincts: When interviewing a potential contractor you will get a feeling about them. Trust your instincts. If you are not completely comfortable, continue your search.
Taking all of the above into consideration will help you make the best decisions for your most valuable possession—your home!
Get the Most Out of Your Repaired Foundation and Basement
Once the foundation is repaired you may want to consider finishing the basement and invest in a home theater installation. In this way you will be sure to enjoy your basement and foundation for many years to come.