Delaying foundation repairs threatens the structural integrity of your house.
Putting off foundation repairs will likely cost you more money in bills and additional repairs.
Ignoring foundation problems can cause mold growth and rodent infestation.
A faulty foundation can decrease the curb appeal and the value of your home.
Imagine: You’re at home unwinding after a busy day, and you notice a crack in the corner of your wall. You know that this could be harmless, but this could also mean your foundation is in need of repairs.
If you’re trying to cut costs, you may be hoping you can just worry about this another day, but foundation issues are something you should never ignore. Failing to repair your foundation at the early signs of trouble can still quickly escalate to a mess.
“We renovated a house that was built around 1900 and had a bathroom added later,” says Bob Tschudi, Expert Review Board member and a Raleigh, North Carolina-based general contractor. “The problem was that the bathroom drainage was disconnected, so that all the water went into the crawlspace and caused the back corner of the house to sink. Not only was the floor sloped in the house, but the foundation was compromised.”
Read on to discover what can happen if you ignore signs of foundation problems.
1. Foundation Sinking
The settling of the foundation over time is usually the first thing that happens if your property’s foundation is compromised. Foundations can sink into the ground and become uneven, causing floors to be irregular or door frames to be crooked.
Hire a local foundation repair professional to prevent the issue from escalating as soon as you notice something is wrong with your foundation.
2. Structural Damage
When a foundation is compromised, it starts a domino effect, stressing the structure it was designed to support. Foundation issues affect walls, floors, ceilings, doors, window frames, attached garages, and more. When one element is unsteady, it will cause extensive structural damage.
If your foundation shows signs of damage, you shouldn’t overlook it. Consult your foundation repair professional as soon as you notice the problem to prevent the issues from worsening.
When ignored, the damage may spread to your walls or other parts of your house, which will ruin the structural integrity of the entire building. The longer you wait, the worse the damage gets, and the more difficult it will be to fix.
3. Increasing Utility Bills
While most homes are airtight, air and moisture can travel into the living areas through cracks when a foundation is damaged. This cracking leads to your furnace or air conditioner having to work harder to keep indoor temperatures comfortable, causing higher utility bills.
4. Plumbing Problems
Your home’s underground plumbing lines become increasingly vulnerable when there is a foundation issue. In some cases, you won’t even notice it until the plumbing line bursts or breaks, causing serious water damage.
Unfortunately, in this case, foundation repair is not all you have to worry about. If you suspect foundation problems, get them fixed before the foundation cracks and your plumbing lines burst.
Repairing your plumbing problems can get pricey depending on the damage and how accessible it is. However, if you hire a foundation repair contractor on time, you can protect your foundation from shifting and prevent this mess from occurring.
5. Insect or Rodent Infestations
Insects and vermin can find their way into your home through the cracks in your foundation when you delay repairing foundation issues. The trickiest part is that the creepy crawlers tend to multiply quickly, and you could be looking at a large infestation, causing further damage to your home and risks to your health.
If this happens, you’ll face extermination costs, not just foundation repair costs. Plus, no one wants to share their home with these unwelcome roommates.
“I went under a house to see what the problem was, and as I was moving along, I came face-to-face with a baby opossum,” says Tschudi. “Super cute, but it was still a pest in a crawl space. We relocated the opossums and sealed off the openings.”
6. Mold and Mildew Issues
A cracked foundation allows water or humid air to fill your crawlspace or basement, making them an ideal breeding environment for mold and mildew. This moisture can create an environment that poses a health risk for your family. It can also cause your home to deteriorate and wood rot to worsen over time.
7. A Drop in Property Value
If you’re looking to sell your home soon, a failing foundation will decrease its value significantly.
Before your sale is complete, a home inspection will reveal the existence of major issues like a foundation problem, and it can turn away serious buyers. A well-maintained property will be much easier to sell and can make the process much simpler for everyone involved.
8. Roof Leaks
You know the foundation problem is bad when it affects your house up to the roof.
When a foundation settles, it can cause the shingles and roof to move and break, especially around the chimney, which eventually causes the roof to leak. While a few drips during a rainstorm may not seem like much, if it’s coupled with other signs of foundation issues, you’ll want to look into it ASAP.
9. Reduced Curb Appeal
Cracks on the walls or around your windows and doors are often tell-tale signs of foundation damage. This cracking can appear on the inside or outside of your walls and can take away from the aesthetics of your home.
Not only can delaying foundation repairs cause expensive issues, no one wants a home with cracks in the wall, so it can even affect your curb appeal.
10. Increasing Repair Costs
Some homeowners think they can put off foundation repairs for later when they’ve saved up more. While this is understandable, if you neglect a foundation problem for a few months or years, you will end up with higher repair bills. If you deal with a foundation problem as soon as it emerges, the costs may be surprisingly low, depending on your issue.
Instead of allowing the situation to get worse (and more expensive), contact a foundation repair company to tackle the problem head-on.