It’s scary that you can’t see one of the most important (and largest) components of a homes construction. We’re talking of course, about the foundation—buried beneath the walls and floors you can see and touch.
Because you can’t see your foundation, it’s often overlooked by homeowners and homebuyers and can soon result in maintenance issues. We want to ensure that doesn’t happen to you. So, we’re partnering with Restumping Melbourne, to better understand warning signs of foundation issues and how to best handle them.
Common signs of foundation issues
It’s important to note that there is a spectrum when it comes to the common signs of foundation issues. Yes, they can be a big deal, but they can also be minor issues that you’ll just want to keep your eye on. The key here, is vigilant monitoring.
So, what are a couple of examples of these issues? First up- cracks. Cracks in the floor, cracks in the walls, cracks in the ceilings. If you live in or are looking at an older home, then these may run rampant. Again- don’t freak out right away, monitor. If the cracks are only a millimetre wide and don’t seem to be increasing in size, then you should be alright. If the cracks are more than a couple of millimetres wide, then call an expert. If the cracks are only a millimetre wide BUT when you check later, they HAVE increased in size- then call an expert ASAP.
Cracks are probably the number one sign of foundation damage. Another trouble area to keep an eye on is the different door frames throughout the house. When you swing a door closed, does it do so gently and quietly, fitting squarely into the door frame? If so, great. If not- meaning that there is either a large gap between the frame and the door OR the door sticks because it is now too large for the frame, you’re looking at another opportunity to call in the experts. These shifts have occurred because the ground beneath has moved and settled, so that the weight of the home is no longer evenly distributed across the foundation.
How to reinforce your foundation
So how do the professionals tackle the issues mentioned above? They use three different methods to reinforce your foundation: restumping, reblocking and underpinning.
Restumping and reblocking are very similar, but interchangeable terms. They describe a process where the stumps under the foundation are removed and replaced with new stumps. The problem is that these old stumps see a lot of wear and tear, so they tend to shift and settle- causing the warning signs that we described above.
Underpinning is a bit different. Instead of removing foundation components, underpinning tackles foundations built with huge slabs. These slabs shift over time as well, creating air pockets which can be detrimental to the elements of the home. Underpinning pours new concrete into these air pockets, sealing them up and creating a new, stronger foundation for your home.
Hopefully you feel a bit more educated about the issues that your foundation can encounter, and how experts like those at Restumping Melbourne can easily solve. Head on over to our website if you’re interested in learning more.
For more things to consider structurally before buying a home check out how to avoid a money guzzling reno nightmare, common problems associated with older homes and the pros and cons with of buying a renovator’s delight.