Ohio homeowners know the importance of keeping up with a regular home maintenance schedule. Your Ohio home is one of the biggest financial investments you will make, and it’s the place your family comes together for celebrations both big and small. Whether you live in Cleveland or another community nearby, you may have experienced a sticky situation with your own home.
Do your home’s doors and windows stick? Are your windows or doors hard to open and getting harder to open over time? Sticking doors and windows can be a sign of moisture in the air and storms on the way, but if the problem gets worse over time, it may be a sign of a bigger problem and something you don’t want to ignore.
Over time, the foundation of a home settles into the ground it was constructed on. This is normal and happens to all structures. However, the amount a foundation settles can be affected by changing temperatures, soil conditions, weather events, and other factors. Understanding the common indicators of foundation damage, including sticking doors and windows, can help you identify and fix problems caused by foundation settlement before it becomes a major issue affecting the entire home.
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How Does Foundation Settlement Affect Ohio Homes?
There are three common causes of foundation damage, according to Realtor.com. Each of the conditions can affect all kinds of homes, even new ones. The amount of damage caused is impacted by things that can be out of your control. The main causes of home foundation problems are:
- Foundation settlement
- Foundation heave
- Stem wall deterioration
When the soil underneath a home shrinks over time, it becomes unstable and can cause foundation settlement, or sinking. Foundation heave is just the opposite. That’s because a foundation can be affected by soil rise as well as soil erosion. Soil levels rise under a home’s foundation when it settles in other areas nearby.
Finally, stem wall deterioration occurs when problems with the foundation cause cracks and other damage to the home’s main load bearing walls. These walls are the ones built directly on top of the home’s foundation. Because each of the home’s other walls and floors are connected to the stem walls, problems with the foundation can cause damage throughout the home.
How Old Does A Home Have to be Before Foundation Damage Can Occur?
You might be surprised to learn that age isn’t the only factor in common foundation problems. Because weather and soil conditions can play a huge role in how much a home’s foundation settles over time, even new homes can be affected by foundation issues. Foundation problems can also affect all different types of homes and occur in all areas of the country.
Other factors that affect soil conditions impacting a home’s foundation include weather, moisture, flood damages, leaky pipes, and pressure. While you may not be able to affect the weather or know when a flood will impact your home, you can reduce the effects of moisture in the soil by fixing leaky pipes quickly, floodproofing your home to protect your foundation, and pointing drains away from the home so water doesn’t pool near the foundation.
Identifying Foundation Damage With Eight Common Indicators
Before foundation damage can spread and affect areas throughout the home, there are a few common indicators to look for to help you identify it. Fixing foundation damage early on, no matter how small it is, can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
The eight common indicators of foundation damage are:
- Cracking walls and/or floors
- Sticking windows and doors
- Openings between doors, windows, and exterior walls
- Sagging or slanting floors
- Cracking, damaged, or leaning chimney
- Bowing basement walls
- Musty smell due to mold, mildew, or rot in the basement or crawl space
- Water damage or dampness in the home that you can’t find the source of
How Does Foundation Damage Affect Homebuyers?
Are you looking to purchase a home in northern Ohio? Across the country, most states require homeowners to tell potential buyers about all foundation issues affecting the home now or in the past. This includes past foundation repairs that have occurred. Understanding your right to this important information can help you protect your investment.
As part of your home buying process, you will receive a professional home inspection to identify any issues with the home that need to be repaired. A close look at the home’s foundation will be included in the pre-purchase home inspection. If repairs are needed to the home’s foundation, remember that an early investment to fix the problem can save even more money in future repairs as the problem spreads. Even small cracks or holes in a home’s foundation can cause major damage over time.
If the home you want to buy has foundation damage uncovered by the home inspection, consider asking the homeowner to lower the asking price to fund immediate repairs. If repairs have been made to the home recently, ask the homeowner for the warranty information to protect the investment in the home.
What Will It Cost to Fix My Ohio Home’s Foundation?
The cost of fixing your Ohio home’s foundation will vary depending on the depth of the problem, where you live, and what types of repairs are necessary. Across the U.S., common repair costs can vary.
Nationwide, the average cost to fix a foundation is $3,500 for basic repairs, according to Inch Calculator. Major repairs cost an average of $10,000 nationwide. Throughout the country, costs can vary widely by region and whether you live in an urban or rural area.
For example, repairs that cost an average of $50,595 in Washington, D.C., can cost $14,000 in Virginia Beach, VA. The biggest indicator of the foundation repair costs, however, is what exactly the problem is, how long it has been happening, whether the issue has spread, and what is needed to fix it permanently.
Delivering Peace of Mind With A Free Home Assessment
Across northern Ohio, Ohio Basement Systems helps homeowners protect their most important investment by identifying foundation issues early and fixing the problem before it can grow. Fixing a small foundation crack now can be much less expensive than fixing major wall cracks and slanting floors later on. If left unfixed, major foundation issues can affect the structural integrity of the entire home.
For your own peace of mind, if you can relate to any of the common indicators for home foundation damage, contact us today for a free foundation assessment and estimate for any repairs needed.