This is a question that usually gets asked when you notice foundation damage. Even if it is the slightest, you feel that you can fix it yourself. But can you really?
Ann Arbor Foundation Repair Experts says the answer to the question is both yes and no. They have plenty of experience when it comes to foundation repair in Ann Arbor. Yes, if your foundation has a crawlspace, you can probably get it done yourself if the damage is at least slight. Otherwise, if it sits on a slab, you better leave it up to the professionals.
Keep reading to learn more about the difference between crawlspace and slab foundations. We will also explain when it is necessary to do it yourself and when it may be time to call in the experts. Either way, you’ll come in with a good idea of what to do next after reading this.
When Can You Fix Your Own Foundation?
If your house is built on a crawlspace, you may be able to fix it yourself. The one sign to look for is if it’s sinking in the middle instead of the exterior.
You will be able to know the difference between slabs and crawlspace just by inspecting your foundation. If you notice a vent or an access door near the bottom of an exterior wall, then you have a crawlspace.
Houses with crawl spaces are usually commonplace in the Southern United States. So if you live in a state like Georgia or North Carolina, chances are your house is built on one.
Otherwise, it’s built on a concrete slab. After identifying your foundation type, you can move on to find out the other symptoms of the foundation issues you might have.
When Do You Need A Professional To Do The Job?
If your foundation type is a concrete slab, that’s when a professional needs to step in and do the repair job. That’s because it is a complex process.
Doing it yourself will be risky, especially when it can hurt the structural integrity of your house. Also, a professional will see other problems with the foundation that you might be overlooking.
The Symptoms Of Foundation Problems
So what are the symptoms of foundation problems? There are a few of them that are considered common. Let’s take a look at each of them:
Sagging or uneven floors
If you’re walking around the house and you notice some uneven or sagging in the floors, that’s a telltale sign that your foundation is failing. Your floors are obviously supposed to be level.
You may feel like you’re about ready to trip on something. Or it may feel like you’re going to fall through the floor.
These floors can be an early warning sign. So the sooner you spot these, the better chance the foundation repairs will be minor at best.
If the foundation is in bad shape, the rest of the structure may soon follow. It can get to the point where the chimney can be affected.
You want to look for a chimney that is leaning. It might also be losing bricks as they fall to the ground.
There may be cracks on the bricks that exist before they even fall off. Speaking of bricks, let’s stay on the topic for this next symptom.
Cracked bricks/foundation walls
If you notice any cracks on the bricks or foundation walls, the foundation is beginning to fail. Some cracks may be difficult to see.
So it won’t be until the cracks are moderately larger until you can be able to see them. These cracks can be fixed by a professional and will cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 or $1000.
Bowing basement walls
Since the foundation will be visible in the basement, you will notice the basement walls bowing. They may appear to stick out a little further than it’s supposed to.
The sooner you notice them (even in the slightest), you want to check the foundation immediately.
Sticky doors and windows
Are you trying to open up a door or a window? Is it sticking all the time?
That could spell trouble for the structural integrity of your house. Your bad foundation may lead to other issues around the house including your doors or windows sticking or never staying shut.
Also, you may want to check the locks. If the doors and windows are unlocked and opening them is still a challenge, that’s when you need to check the foundation to see how bad of shape it’s in.
One More Thing
The smartest decision you can make when it comes to your foundation problems is enlisting the help of a professional. Especially if you don’t know how to fix the foundation of your home.
These foundation issues, no matter how bad it is, can’t be ignored. Failure to get it fixed will lead to a whole host of problems.
It won’t come as a surprise if the house ends up being uninhabitable until major repairs are made. So you better check the foundation of your home sooner rather than later (or never).
Getting it fixed will come with a hefty price. But it’s worth spending the money since it will improve the structure of your home.