As you can imagine, foundation repair in older homes can be extensive and expensive. But it doesn’t always mean it isn’t worth it. In real estate speak, an older home is past 50 years old.
If you are considering buying an older home or perhaps you have taken over the family home, there are some fairly easy signs to look for when it comes to foundation problems.
Everything You Need to Know About Foundation Repair in Older Homes
If you are looking at an older home to buy, you should always hire a professional to inspect the foundation.
Causes of Foundation Problems
Most foundation damage to older homes comes from what is happening underneath. It is usually down to moisture or the invasion of tree roots.
When the tree roots run out of room they don’t stop. Their root systems can be rather involved and once they get up to your foundation, they sap the moisture needed for the concrete to remain solid, and they can also press up against the foundation.
The ground around your foundation is also in motion. It shifts and swells and shrinks depending on the amount of moisture in it. It gets wet and swells, it dries out and the soil shrinks, and it also freezes and thaws, often a few times per winter.
Signs of Foundation Problems
Older homes may have more foundation problems than are even apparent. It’s hard to know what is going on deep down.
Some cracks are quite common even in new foundations. But the longer they go unchecked, the worse they will be. Look for larger, deeper cracks, check the walls, the floors, the top of the wall where it meets the ceiling, and around the window, doors, and corners.
Foundation repair in older homes will be quite involved, if not requiring an entirely new foundation. Cracks that have been left to grow, absorb moisture, and allow in pests.
Stress on Frames, Counters, and Floors
The doors and window frames will show the damage of the foundation. Doors and windows will swing open or stick closed. There may be cracks or gaps around the frames.
Sloping and slanted floors are also a good indication there is a problem with the foundation. The foundation in an older home may have shifted or sunk on one side.
This will cause the floors to be uneven or warp, the floor supports may be crumbling or cracked, the countertops and cupboards will be pulled away from the wall, and counters may also be tilted.
Foundation repair may also extend to the outside of older homes. Cracks or leaning chimneys, missing bricks on the chimney or outer walls, the home may appear lops-sided, or there are damp patches in the crawl space.
Older homes can settle, experience shifting or upheaval, or other issues. Not all of these are a big concern. Foundations are built to last, so some of the problems may be simply cosmetic.
Foundation Repair in Older Homes
The best thing you can do is to have the foundation and the home inspected by a qualified foundation contractor. They can let you know if repairs are needed and set up a schedule to proceed with them.
One of our foundation repair experts will provide you with a fair estimate for a professionally installed foundation repair solution customized for your home.