Tips for Inspecting Your Home’s Foundation

FoundationThis week we have a guest blog from Brandon Cartee.  In this blog Brandon talks about the most important piece to a structure, the foundation!

Tips for Inspecting Your Home’s Foundation

Have you ever considered taking a closer look at your home’s foundation? Whether you are getting ready to sell your home, looking to buy a new one and having it inspected or simply want to make sure that your current home is well maintained, this is an important part of being a homeowner. Yet many are not aware that they should be performing this task on a regular basis.

By inspecting your home’s foundation, you can spot problems that could lead to bigger, more expensive repairs, and fix those problems before they escalate. As you tackle this inspection, be thorough, and look for these problems.

Watch for Cracks

Exterior foundation cracks are common, and little ones are not dangerous. However, take a close look at your foundation and make sure that the cracks are not growing. Also, if you notice any cracks that are larger than 1/8 of an inch in width, have them inspected. This could be a sign of a larger problem. Small cracks need to be inspected monthly for signs of growth or expansion.

When you do notice a large crack, have it repaired professionally. Professional foundation repair specialists will be able to determine the problem and provide advice for dealing with any structural problems that could be causing the crack. Never ignore cracks, as they can be quite serious.

Watch for Water

Right after a rainstorm, head outside and inspect your foundation. If you notice water pooling near the home, then you have a potential problem brewing. That water can damage your foundation.

The good news is that fixing pooling water is usually easy and does not require a foundation repair specialist. Try extending your downspouts so they pour the water at least five feet away form the foundation. You can use gutter extension to do this. For most homeowners, this will stop the problem.

Check for Pests

Pests can create serious problems for your foundation. Rodents can tunnel into your home through the foundation and leave it vulnerable to water and cracks. Termites can destroy the wood in your home and cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. Both can be spotted in the foundation.

For rodents, look for holes in the foundation that are large enough for a mouse to squeeze through. This is smaller than you might think. A mouse can enter a home through a hole the size of a nickel. Look carefully in problem areas, such as near pipes or the entrance for wiring. Seal any holes to prevent other rodents from entering your home.

Termites also leave signs near your foundation. Tunnels of mud about the size of a pencil are commonly left behind by termites. To see if there are termites in your home, break off a piece of the tunnel, then watch for a few days to see if it gets rebuilt. If so, you will need professional help to get rid of the termites.

Look for Bulges

Like cracks, bulges in the foundation are a sign of a problem. A bulge or curve in the poured concrete can indicate pressure is being placed on the walls. This occurs due to the settling of the foundation or from pressure from the soil around the home. Too much pressure can put the foundation at risk, so ask for help if you notice this.

Check for Weakness

If you notice that the concrete is chipping or flaking in parts of your foundation, you need to see if the concrete is strong behind it. Poke the chipping area with a screwdriver, and make sure that you are not able to damage it. If you are able to break the concrete, then it could be deteriorating. This is a sign that you need foundation repair, as a deteriorating foundation could eventually compromise the security of your home.

Your foundation holds up your entire house. You need to give it some attention a few times a year to ensure that it is still in good condition. The good news is that foundations don’t require much maintenance. With a few regular inspections and the help of a concrete repair professional when needed, you can ensure that your house stays standing strong for many years to come.

Author bio:

Brandon Cartee is the owner Foundation Repair Services. A full service specialty contracting that helps both residential and commercial buildings throughout North and South Carolina.

1 comment… add one
Tina Gleisner September 19, 2014, 8:36 am

Excellent article & the home inspector noted land in front of our new home wasn’t sloped correctly. And then Phoenix got 3-5 inches in a few hours and we had serious pooling so we know we need either gutters or a French drain … to be decided after we move in.

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