You don’t have to be a weather geek to be well aware of the severe heat waves and drought that have affected much of the country this summer. If you live in the Chicagoland orNorthwest Indiana areas, I bet you noticed the several days we had at 100 degrees this July. The impact on gardens, once-green lawns and other landscaping is unmistakable.
But what you may not know is that this kind of heat and extended dryness can mean big problems for your home. The fact is, it can cause the ground beneath your house to harden and crack, and even start moving and sinking. And when the ground starts to shift, and pull away from your foundation, it can often pull you house down with it and damage to your home’s foundation.
Luckily, if you know where to look, these kinds of issues can be spotted, and then marked for a fix.
Take a few minutes to look for damage outside your home.
- Brickwork is cracked or separated
- Siding or caulking is broken or cracked
- Concrete or soil next to the foundation has sunk
- Gas meter is askew
- Chimney is pulling away from the house
How about inside? Do you see any of these problems?
- Doors or windows stick or don’t shut properly
- Drywall or plaster is cracking
- Gaps under baseboards or cabinets
- Basement floor is cracked and unlevel
- Foundation wall has a noticeable bow toward the middle or upper two-thirds of the wall
Foundation cracks are offset. (Run your hand over the cracks. If both sides are not on the same plane, the crack is offset and may show movement.)
All of these symptoms could be attributed to other causes, but if you have one or more, you would be wise to have a certified foundation specialist from a qualified Foundation Repair company like Perma-Seal to inspect your home and provide you with a permanent solution.
If your foundation has begun sinking or settling, for instance a foundation piering system can be used to permanently level your foundation by using structural steel piers to transfer the weight onto bedrock, or bearing soil. In most cases, it’s possible for this process to even out your walls and floors once again!
This may sound like a big project, but an experienced and professional crew can normally complete a job like this within a few days, with minimal disruption to your life.
Hold off on temporary repairs
Here’s an important tip: If your home has a possible underlying structural problem, avoid temporary repairs like:
- Window and door replacement
- Replacement of brick or aluminum siding
- Mud-jacking of floors and concrete work
- Extensive drywall and carpentry repairs
- Tuck pointing
Structural problems, like seepage issues, will deteriorate with time, sometimes suddenly…and that could lead to HUGE problems later on:
- Broken sewer, water or gas lines
- Collapse of foundation walls
- The need to replace the entire foundation