When owning or buying a home most people focus on the exterior and interior design that fits their standards. They visualize fun things to add, like an outdoor fire pit, fancy new wine fridge or soaker tub.
However, before you start envisioning transforming your house into your dream home, look down where it all starts and focus on the foundation.
If what lies beneath is damaged, it can cost you big bucks.
Whether you’re a seller who wants to list the property fast or a buyer who has concerns in your recently acquired home, it is essential to take action and hire the company to resolve the issue.
What Is The Foundation?
The foundation is the lowest part of the building that is in direct contact with the soil which transfers loads from the structure to the earth safely.
Generally, there is two classifications of a foundation, the shallow and deep foundation.
A shallow foundation transfers building loads to the soil very near to the surface, while deep foundation, usually suggested for skyscrapers and highrises, shifts the load to a deeper depth below the ground surface.
A proper foundation not only offers stability for the home but it’s also responsible for keeping out moisture, insulating against the cold and resisting the movement of the earth around it.
Typically, if a quality contractor does the foundation, it should last forever.
How To Spot Problem In Foundation
Should you buy a property with foundation problem? In a word? Maybe. It always depends on how much you love the house.
If the home you’re about to purchase has foundation problems, you should not always back away. You could always hire a professional and let them fix the issues.
The first thing you’ll have to do is to know whether the property has a terrible foundation before calling your contractors.
But how? Luckily, we listed some things your home inspector may look for that could indicate potential foundation problems.
- Misaligned doors and windows
- Doors that don’t’ latch out or stick
- Windows that have cracks in the glass or difficult to open
- Sloping floors or staircases
- Cracked drywall
- Gaps between the wall seams or between the wall and the ceiling
- Large cracks in the exterior concrete
- Water in the basement, crawl spaces, or around the perimeter of the home
After evaluating the house, and you spot any of this issues it is essential to call for a professional immediately. A lousy foundation provides potential safety risk to you and your family.
Hiring a structural engineer to determine whether the issues are structural damage and evaluate the property, typically cost about $500 – $1000.
Ways To Prevent Foundation Problem
Water is the main reason for a vast majority of foundation issue. Variations in moisture cause components of the soil to shrink or swell, leading to movement beneath your foundation.
In order to avoid potential issues and save a couple of hundred bucks on repairing your foundation, always remember the famous quote “prevention is better than cure.”
So, here are ways to keep your basement and foundation dry as the Sahara desert.
Diagnose the Water Problem
Not only does a wet basement smell and feel nasty, but it can also affect your home’s value. Left unchecked, moisture can ruin the foundation, the most important part of the house.
Typically, wet basement comes from clogged gutters and can easily cure by clearing it and by diverting the water away from the foundation.
However, if the issue comes from other sources, like water flowing through your walls or rainwater and snow melting or groundwater, you must take more aggressive actions.
To figure out what’s causing the problem, try placing aluminum foil on your basement wall. After a few days, moisture will build up in the foil.
The moisture outside the foil indicates that you have high indoor humidity while inside the foil indicates the moisture comes within the walls.
Get Rid of Excess Humidity
One of the most effective ways of eliminating the sources of humid air is by ventilation. Especially in the areas that create moisture, like kitchen and bathroom. Make sure that your family turns them on before using any of these areas.
Another way is preventing unwanted humid air by sealing your leaky dryer vents with foil tape.
During cold weather, pipes in the house freeze. Not only does this damage the pipeline, it also contributes to basement water problem that may lead to an issue in your foundation.
Covering your cold water pipes with foam insulation that is inexpensive and easy to cut, will stop the condensation and keep the pipes dry.
Just like insulating your pipes, wall insulation not only prevents condensation by keeping your basement wall dry but also saves you money on your energy and heating bills in cold weather.
It is essential to always keep in mind not to put insulation if the water is leaking from the outside, you’ll just create a potential mold problem.
Keep Water Away From the Foundation
One of the most essential on keeping your basement dry especially when raining or the snow is melting is by creating a moat that collects and directs the water down your foundation wall and into the basement.
You can also consider adding gutters. It catches the rain and leads it to the downspout, which directs it away from the house.
Plug Holes and Cracks in the Foundation
Concrete consists of sand, cement, gravel, and water, as the water evaporates, the remaining component becomes hard.
Unfortunately, the cement shrinks slightly due to the process of curing, often resulting on cracks on the walls. These holes and cracks can let water into your basement.
One way to solve this is by patching the holes it with hydraulic cement because it can set even if the wall is wet or underwater and it expands as it sets to seal the hole.
If moisture keeps getting into your walls, it is a must to use waterproof materials to fill in the pores in your wall.
Install Drainage System
The best permanent fix for chronic basement leak hiring a professional to install the drainage system that cost about $3000 to $8000.
Yes, I know it is quite expensive, but you can rest assured that there will be fewer future issues if you hire a professional instead of doing yourself.
What To Look For In Someone Who Repairs Foundation
Foundation work is definitely not a do it yourself project, so it makes good sense that you need to hire a licensed foundation repair company in order to avoid potential risks.
But, where do you find them? Before you call the first company you find doing an online search?
You need to educate about methods and ask these questions:
- How are the employees of your company trained?
- How is pile/pier tested?
- How long have they been manufacturing their piles/piers?
- How many types of foundation piles/piers do you have available?
- What is their failure rate and how often do they have to re-adjust?
- Do their materials hold any patents?
- How do they warranty their work and products?
- Do they have access to a national warranty trust program?
- Does their piling / piering system have a protective coating?
- Does your company have workers comp and general liability?
Choosing your foundation repair contractors based on these questions not only will inform you of the quality of their work but also the variety of materials they will use.
If you are looking for the best foundation repair contractors near Kingstowne, you’ve come to the right place. We listed ten different trustworthy and quality companies below.
In search of other reliable services around the area? Click here for a consolidated list of trusted vendors near you.
Phone number: 703-690-3889
Business website: www.nvwaterproofing.com
JES Foundation Repair
Phone number: (866) 370-4816
Business website: www.jeswork.com
Ploutis Painting & Contracting
Address: 8365 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, VA 22309
Phone number: (703) 360-0205
Business website: ploutiscontracting.com
Address: 5621 Vine St, Alexandria, VA 22310
Phone number: (703) 978-8300
Business website: avoncorporation.com
Address: Alexandria, VA 22312
Phone number: (703) 457-6540
Business website: deskaservices.com
Address: Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone number: (703) 216-4329
Business website: ayalamasonry.webs.com
Basement Masters Waterproofing C
Phone number: (571) 297-2724
Business website: basementmasterswaterproofing.com
The Foundation Expert
Address: 8300 Greensboro Dr, Ste L1-656, McLean, VA 22102
Phone number: (800) 673-0866
Business website: thefoundationexpert.com
Armored Basement Waterproofing
Address: 9942 Bird River Rd, Baltimore, MD 21220
Phone number: (443) 949-3180
Business website: armoredbasement.com
NV Waterproofing & Foundation Repair
Address: 7780 Progress Ct, Gainesville, VA 20155
Phone number: (855) 444-0215
Business website: nvwaterproofing.com