Your house could be under an incredible amount of pressure. Your home has a big job to do and many responsibilities to fill. It must be a safe place for you and your family, and you need to make sure its structural integrity and health are maintained. However, many more things could be happening below the surface than you realize.
Whether you’re regularly in your basement or hardly at all, it’s important to know what’s supporting the rest of your home. If you see cracks in the walls and think they could be moving or tilting inward, you need to act. These signs of foundation failure can be alarming, but don’t panic. The experts at Foundation Recovery Systems – serving areas like Kansas City and St. Louis – have got you and your home covered with several reliable permanent foundation repair solutions.
The type of soil around your home is a significant factor affecting your house. While there are hundreds of types of soil underneath homes in St. Louis and Kansas City, and throughout Missouri, Menfro is the state soil. It is comprised of various silt loam (soil that contains not less than 70% silt and clay, and not less than 20% sand) and some clay loam, and it is considered desirable for building. (Source: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Missouri) Other soils (including Kickapoo, Dockery, Leonard, and Sampsel) are prone to flooding and are unstable due to shrinking and expanding. So, it’s best to have your soil tested to determine what the ground can support. (Source: Hunker)
Excavated soil that is replaced around a completed foundation isn’t as dense and tightly packed as undisturbed soil farther away. As a result, water collects in the soil immediately surrounding the house, putting pressure on foundation walls and causing cracks.
A sizeable hole was dug in the ground when your home was built. The foundation was then poured, which left a gap between the foundation walls and the existing earth. This gap was filled with soil that was removed and “fluffed up.” This soil is looser, more aerated than the surrounding soil, which may have been compressing for hundreds of years. Thus, the looser soil tends to absorb more water than the compacted soil. More water against the walls leads to hydrostatic pressure. (Source: Bob Vila)
As the soil around your foundation becomes soaked with moisture, it expands and puts pressure on your foundation.
This also presents another problem with water intrusion. Water can work its way through any opening available, including cracks. Water sitting behind foundation walls will find and fill invisible openings in the surface of the porous concrete it touches. This contributes to capillary action, creating a series of tiny veins that will seep on the other side. (Source: JES Foundation Repair) Clogged or above-ground exterior drainage pipes could allow water to puddle next to the home and find its way inside any crack or gap in porous block foundation walls.
Chimneys sometimes have a missing or inadequate chimney footing. When this occurs, your chimney has not been designed with the proper structural support, and it will fail over time. Chimneys experience tilting problems most commonly when the structure has been built on poor supporting soils. If the soils supporting your chimney are not sufficient to hold its weight, the chimney may begin to sink, causing it to separate from the rest of the home and tilt outward.
Not only does water contribute to issues like hydrostatic pressure and leaking, but it also can affect the structural integrity of your home in another way. If you have a vented crawl space with wooden floor joists and supports, the stability of your home could be in serious trouble. Wet, damp crawl spaces with water and high humidity can have rotting and weakening wooden support systems. Wooden supports and floor joists that are compromised lead to sagging and uneven floors.
Building code has called for crawl spaces to be vented for air drying purposes, but this is harmful to the home. This invites outside air, water, and pests inside.
Because of the stack effect, air circulates through your home from top to bottom, like a chimney. As hot and humid air contributes to high levels of moisture and humidity in the crawl space and home, this can lead to sagging, soft, buckling floors above, and result in problems to hardwood floors. (Additional resource: Liabilities of Vented Crawl Spaces, Their Impacts on Indoor Air Quality in Southeastern U.S. Homes and One Intervention Strategy by National Institute of Building Sciences)
If you see any kind of cracks or movement in your foundation walls, you need to act now! The longer you put these issues out of your mind or on the back burner, the more costly the foundation repair projects will be in the long run. You’re also endangering your safety and the safety of your loved ones.
Your home – whether it is in St. Louis, Kansas City, or the surrounding area – is a significant investment, and it is important to ensure its health and safety today and for the future. A problematic foundation also affects the value of and ability to sell a home.
The return on investment from basement repair is estimated to be around 30 percent. But the health and structural benefits, not to mention peace of mind, are priceless.
Various factors impact your home’s appraisal value, but structural integrity, water issues, and other problems are important areas you need to be aware of. When selling your house, it is important to disclose any past or current damage. While you are not required by the state of Missouri to reveal damaging defects about your property beyond certain criminal histories, it does set clear expectations regarding the quality and condition of the home, as well as any previous or needed foundation repair. (Source: Nolo)
We understand that foundation repair can be a daunting undertaking. Because the issues worsen over time, it can seem easier to simply leave them alone and wait. But that is not a safe or smart approach. Here are some pieces of bad advice we’ve heard that homeowners should not follow about their foundation issues.
If you live in St. Louis, Kansas City, or the surrounding areas, contact us! We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you with one of our highly trained foundation repair inspectors. Inspections are free and no obligation to you, and our specialist will complete a thorough evaluation of your home. We also are proud to work with realtors, commercial property owners, and other various affiliates.
If you are concerned with foundation repair needs and insurance coverage, be sure to check with your insurance carrier, as all policies are different.
Here are some helpful tips for selecting a reputable contractor, courtesy of Today’s Homeowner. We are proud to meet and exceed expectations on these points:
We offer a few options for cracking and/or bowing walls, depending on the severity of the problems.
If you notice interior drywall cracks and sloping or sagging floors, we can address these symptoms of foundation settlement and failing structural supports.
Our patented, top-quality foundation repair solutions are tested and proven to work to keep give you a safer and stable living environment.
Cheaper, quick fixes like light-duty beams and posts are only temporary bandages that will not address or tackle the root of the problem.
So, don’t waste your time and money on fast fixes. Your home in Kansas City, St. Louis, or the surrounding area, needs our quality permanent solutions. We use reliable, custom equipment and state-of-the-art technology to install these various foundation repair systems.
While we can’t control the weather or the soil outside your home, we can control what’s inside your house and supporting the rest of the structure.
Engineered to withstand the toughest forces, our dependable wall reinforcement and piering systems are made with galvanized steel to prevent rust, corrosion and damage, offering you a strong and permanent solution.
Every home is unique, and each project calls for different foundation repair solutions. We can customize solutions specific to your repair needs. Your inspector will take into consideration your repair goals, the severity of damage or problem areas, square footage, and your budget. It’s not just a “one size fits all” fix. So, what works for your neighbor down the street may not necessarily be what your home needs.
Contacting us for an expert opinion is your best bet. We will not try to throw bandages on the problems, push you to buy “everything but the kitchen sink,” or offer sub-standard quick fixes.
Here are some telltale signs of basement problems that are not mended by a do it yourself fix. You should instead seek reliable advice if you notice:
Along with top-notch solutions installed by a reliable team when you choose to work with us, what you are really paying for is peace of mind and a safer home.
Not only will this benefit you during the time you live in the house, but it will have a lasting impact for the future resale of the house. You are investing in the health and wellness of the structure.
When having your home inspected for real estate transactions, even partial fixes or temporary bandages could raise a red flag along with water or structural damage. You’ll have to spend more time and money trying to address the issues, so why not make an educated decision and sound investment with us and our trustworthy foundation repair solutions?
We work with you to schedule your foundation repair project(s) with our expert crews.
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We love referrals! Please tell your friends and family in Kansas City, St. Louis, and the surrounding areas about your experience with us! We’ll always be here for you. If an issue pops up, we provide service opportunities to fix any problems. We also offer an annual maintenance program to make sure the solutions we installed are properly working to protect your home’s health and safety.