Owning a home is a lot of responsibility when you don’t have to worry about a faulty foundation. When something starts to go wrong with your home’s primary support, your stress levels can go through the roof.
Don’t get overwhelmed by everything you have to do to keep your foundation ship-shape. Instead, you can work with area professionals to keep an eye on your foundation and act when something goes wrong.
What Are Common Foundation Problems for First-Year Homeowners?
When you first move into a new home, you can easily find yourself overwhelmed with all your new responsibilities. You might not know that in addition to purchasing new furniture and appliances that you need to have your home inspected for damage. New homeowners in particular can overlook the state of their foundation simply due to its inaccessibility.
Professional contractors can help new homeowners overcome that inaccessibility, however, and to the homeowners’ benefit. The sooner you’re able to get a better look at your home’s foundation, the sooner you can protect the rest of your home from unanticipated damage.
Common foundation problems to see within your first year of homeownership include:
- Problems with Moisture – A damaged foundation lets moisture into your home. If you’ve found yourself dealing with higher levels of internal humidity or standing puddles of water, you’ll want to reach out to area professionals for guidance as soon as possible.
- Sticking Doors and Windows – It’s not just the additional moisture in your home that can cause your doors and windows to stick. As your foundation settles, it can cause your floors to buckle. In turn, your door and window frames may no longer appropriately connect with the rest of your home, making them much more difficult to use.
What Are Common Foundation Problems for Fifth-Year Homeowners?
There’s nothing quite as reassuring as settling into homeownership. Five years down the line, you won’t have to worry about the expenses that come along with moving into a home for the first time. That does not mean, however, that your foundation will be completely safe from any damage.
You’ll want to try and work with an area contractor at least once a year to keep your foundation up to snuff. With a professional’s expertise on hand, you’ll have a better chance of getting ahead of foundation problems that can appear later in a home’s life. Some of the most common foundation problems to crop up, for example, five years into your tenure as a homeowner include:
- Wall and Floor Cracks – Cracks can appear in your walls and floors as your foundation pulls away from the rest of your home. The gaps that form between your foundation and upper levels can’t just be filled. Instead, you’ll need to determine how your foundation has been damaged to better bring your home back together.
- Bowing Walls – Walls, particularly concrete block walls, can succumb to forces like hydrostatic pressure outside your home. If your home is plagued by high moisture levels and an unstable foundation, you may begin to see the walls of your foundation begin to buckle or bow.
What Are Common Foundation Problems for Tenth-Year Homeowners?
The longer damage goes unnoticed throughout your foundation, the more severe its symptoms can become. Ten years into homeownership, you may start to notice unusual defects around your home, from sinking floors to unstable chimneys. While these symptoms can be immediately dangerous in their own right, they can also indicate long-term foundation damage. You can work with area professionals to determine to what extent your foundation may have suffered damage and how you can go about restoring your home’s safety and value.
Some of the most common foundation problems you may run into 10 years into homeownership include:
- Sinking Concrete – The concrete structures around your home, including your porch, patio, and pool deck, can all creep with changes in the temperature and moisture levels around your property. If these structures start to sink, you may need to either invest in piering, polyurethane injections, or see them repoured.
- A Settling Home – If the concrete structures around your home are settling, your foundation may be too. You can work with area professionals to assess the state of your foundation and shore it up with piers before it starts to damage your internal structural supports.
- Severe Flooding – While internal moisture is one thing, severe home flooding is another. A cracked foundation lets a significant amount of water into your home, exposing you to related dangers.
What Causes Common Foundation Problems?
You can blame hydrostatic pressure for the bulk of the things that go wrong with your foundation. While this pressure isn’t the only force that can work against your home—tree roots and unstable soil, for example, are other prime offenders—hydrostatic pressure does tend to beget the other forces that can do damage to your home.
Hydrostatic pressure builds up outside of your foundation when it rains or when water comes into contact with your home’s building materials. That water can cause the materials in question to change size on a molecular level. If your materials change sizes too rapidly or too often, your foundation may find itself under stress and prone to cracking. A cracked foundation will not be able to support the weight of your home, opening your property up to a variety of problems.
Preventing Common Foundation Problems
Have you been feeling ill at ease in your own home? It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived there for one, five, or 10 years. If you think something is off with your foundation, it’s worth it to check it out. You can reach out to the professionals at AFS who serve the Huntsville, AL, area to schedule a foundation inspection ASAP.
Once your inspection is complete, you can request a free service quote from your AFS inspector detailing what’s gone wrong with your foundation and what repairs or preventive measures may help you maintain your home’s overall value.