If you’re a new homeowner, you probably don’t expect to deal with any major issues for at least a couple of years. However, you just might have to deal with some issues sooner than you think.
According professional engineer Walter Keven, around 25% of homes will surely experience some structural problems during the first decade, and 5% will have major structural problems.
Moreover, most of this problems are related to foundation. For instance, soil can settle or expand under the foundation, which can cause the footing to move and cause everything from cracking to the failure of the foundation.
The integrity of your home’s structure depends largely on the strength of your foundation, because it supports all of the walls, floors and windows in your house. So here are a couple of seemingly small things that can compromise your foundation and cause some serious issues.
Three Small Problems that can Damage Your Foundation
· Remodeling Issues
Home improving is huge industry. Last year, it grew roughly 6.7% and is now worth around $317 billion, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. With so much money on the line, it’s no wonder why there are so many incompetent contractors out there, who are only trying to make a quick buck.
While every person hopes that a contractor who they hired will do everything by the book, sometimes, that’s simply not the case. You have to be aware that some contractors will do everything to cut their operating costs and raise profits in the process.
So sometimes, your renovations can affect by home renovations if the work is handled by one of these inexperienced contractors. Things can even be worse if you handle the project yourself. You can accidentally shit the balance of your home, which will allow your foundation to move slightly.
And no matter how little the foundation moves, this can cause dramatic damage to the concrete. So before you hire someone, make sure to check their background and make sure that they have enough experience to remodel your house without damaging it in the process.
· Improper Drainage
This is perhaps the most common form of foundation failure. But you’re probably wondering what improper drainage really is? In a nutshell, homes that lack gutters or have downspouts pointing in the wrong direction can create conversation of the soil.
And as a result of oversaturated soil, the foundation of the house becomes unstable.
Finding a drainage problem when it’s small is key here, because the problem be easier to fix and will save you thousands of dollars in the process. For instance, the drainage of Longhorn Stadium in Dallas from a couple of years ago cost more than $480, 000.
And while your house is significantly smaller than a baseball stadium, you surely realize that drainage will end costing you a ton of money if you don’t notice the problem early. According to Home Adviser, even the simplest problem may cost more than $5,000.
Luckily, you don’t have to be a scientist to see that there are muddy puddles all over your basement or on your front laws. And those are just the most obvious sings of drainage problems, but here are a couple of more things you need to pay some more attention to:
- Cracks in your foundation – while smaller cracks appear as a house settles over time, you need to keep an eye for bigger cracks
- Deposits on your walls – look for white crust on the walls of your basement, because those are mineral deposits left by evaporating water
- Mildew in your attic – your attic may the place to look for signs of drainage, but if you notice mildew on the underside of the roof, you may have some serious problems at the ground level
· Plumbing Clogs and Leaks
Last but not least, we have pipe clogs and leaks. And let’s start things off by saying that if you have a problem in your main line, you’re in big trouble.
According to information from the official site of the Environmental Protection Agency, if your main line has a leak 1/32nd of an inch in diameter, you can waste more than 6,300 gallons of water every month and have a ton of problems on your hand.
A bigger crack in the mainline will definitely seep into the soil surrounding your house and possibly cause the foundation to shift. The biggest challenge here is actually detecting a leak in the main line, simply because you probably won’t be able to see it physically.
Furthermore, clogs can also cause your pipes to crack, which is why the best thing for you is to hire an expert who could advise you about blocked drains and teach you about all of the preemptive actions you can take to stop the clogs.
The Bottom Line
One thing you have to keep in mind is that you need to detect of these problems early. Because the longer you wait to treat these problems, the more severe the damage can become.
If you don’t treat even the most miniscule leaks and cracks, they can turn into serious problems only after a few months and could compromise the value – and not to mention health – of your home.