Can a house collapse from foundation issues? If you’re a homeowner who knows that your home needs foundation repairs, it’s vital that you explore this question further, as you never want to stay in a home that’s unsafe for any reason!
While it’s rare that a house will outright collapse from foundation issues, a weak foundation can lead to damaged and collapsed ceiling tiles and interior walls, as well as dangerous mold, mildew, and pest infestation. Foundation cracks and other damage also get more extensive and costly to fix the longer they’re ignored.
While needed foundation repair can sometimes be somewhat costly, it’s vital that you seal up foundation cracks and other damage quickly, before that damage gets worse. It’s also important that homeowners realize the risk of ignoring a weak or cracked foundation, so you know your home is always safe for occupation.
Remember to discuss this information with a foundation repair contractor near you as needed, as he or she can inspect your home and note needed repairs, or let you know if the home’s foundation is in good condition and without damage. A foundation repair contractor might also note suggestions for keeping that foundation in good condition, such as waterproofing or crawlspace encapsulation.
A house rarely outright collapses from foundation issues, as said. In many cases, excessive humidity and lack of home maintenance can lead to wood rot, which might be more likely to cause a house to collapse than foundation issues!
Sinkholes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other extreme weather conditions are also more likely to collapse a home than a weak foundation. However, before you assume you can ignore foundation issues, note some risks involved with a weak, cracked, or severely damaged foundation:
With all this information in mind, you might realize that a collapsing home is not the only issue to consider when it comes to foundation damage! Timely repairs keep those costs to a minimum and ensure your home is always safe and in good condition over the years.
Regular foundation inspections are the best choice for ensuring your home’s foundation is in good condition, and for knowing when it’s time to schedule repairs. Most homeowners can schedule an inspection every few years, which is typically sufficient for spotting developing cracks and weaknesses.
A homeowner would also do well to note the interior and exterior signs of foundation damage mentioned above, including cracks along walls and ceilings, buckled floors, and roof damage. Doors and windows that stick or refuse to close properly can also indicate foundation damage.
While you might not associate plumbing issues with a damaged foundation, note that a sinking home pulls plumbing pipes and fixtures with it. This pulling can lead to water leaks around connectors and resultant clogs. If your plumber has ruled out all other reasons for plumbing damage, have the home’s foundation inspected!
Water stains on drywall, rot, and mold might also indicate foundation damage. Rather than simply painting over these stains and cleaning mold and mildew along surfaces in the home, have the foundation checked for cracks allowing in water and excess moisture.
The good news for homeowners is that a sinking foundation is often fixable, even if that damage has led to interior and exterior cracks and other secondary issues. Note a few foundation repair methods that might work for your home, and discuss your options with a foundation repair contractor as needed.
Smaller cracks are often filled with an epoxy injection. These injections expand to fill those cracks and then dry and harden, keeping the cracks closed while providing added support for the foundation. Epoxy injections might cost just a few hundred dollars, depending on the extent of damage and cracks to be filled.
Steel and helical piers help lift a sinking home while providing added support. These piers are inserted into the ground around the perimeter of a sinking foundation; specialty equipment lifts the home into position and the foundation is attached to the piers, keeping it in place. These piers usually cost several hundred dollars each, so your foundation repair costs will vary according to how many piers are needed for your home.
House leveling uses specialty injections underneath the damaged foundation. These injections, similar to putty or grout in texture, expand and harden as they dry, lifting the home to a level position. Those injections then provide added strength for a foundation. House leveling might run a few thousand dollars but should last for decades if not indefinitely.
Bowing basement walls are often treated with carbon fiber straps that push the walls back into their original position and then provide added support against expansion and the risk of cracking and collapsing. Carbon fibers straps are typically a few hundred dollars each, so your cost varies according to how many are needed to repair your home’s damaged foundation.
Your home’s foundation should outlive you! If high-quality foundation materials are installed properly, that foundation should last at least 80 to 100 years, if not even indefinitely. Consider how many homes and buildings are in existence that are more than a century old, if not even hundreds of years old, and that can tell you how long a quality foundation lasts.
Note a few tips for ensuring your home is built with a solid foundation and for keeping it in good condition over the years:
The risk of severe cracks, mold, wood rot, and insect infestation should be enough to convince any homeowner to schedule needed foundation repair at the first sign of damage. However, you might also remember that your foundation will only get weaker and that damage more extensive over time! The longer you put off needed repairs, the most expensive they become.
A homeowner might also note that a damaged foundation can affect a home’s value and salability. Potential homebuyers tend to shy away from homes with severe foundation damage or lower their offers significantly. Even if you don’t plan on selling your home anytime soon, note that property values might affect your ability to get a home equity loan or other such lines of credit.
To avoid these risks, schedule foundation inspections regularly. Patch up smaller cracks as soon as they appear, and invest in underpinning or other repairs as needed. This will ensure the foundation stays strong and in good condition for as long as you own your home.
Columbia Foundation Repair & Waterproofing is proud to offer this information to our readers and we hope it answered the question, can a house collapse from foundation issues? Here at Columbia Foundation Repair & Waterproofing, we’re also proud of the work offered by our Columbia foundation repair contractors. If you need a foundation inspection or repairs in Columbia and surrounding cities, give us a call! We offer convenient appointments and guaranteed services you can trust.