When Was The Last Time You Thought About Your Home’s Foundation

When Was The Last Time You Thought About Your Home’s Foundation

If you are a typical LA homeowner, you never think about your home’s foundation.  In fact, for most homeowners, the first time they pay attention to their home’s foundation is when their floors and walls are cracking, or when they are trying to sell the property and their buyer’s home inspector gives them the bad news that their foundation is damaged!

Are foundation failures common?

Yes, indeed, they are a common occurrence in Southern California, and especially in our fair city of Los Angeles, where our unique type of clay soil makes homes vulnerable to subsidence and cracking.  Think of it this way:  when soil that contains a large amount of clay comes into contact with water during the rainy season, the soil expands and swells.  Then, when Summer comes along, the soil dries out and contracts.  This expansion and contraction, season-after-season, year-after-year, can slowly break apart a home’s foundation!  Add to this the violent shaking power of the frequent earthquakes we experience here in Southern California, and what you get are foundations that are stressed beyond their tolerances!

Are some homes more susceptible than others?

Unfortunately, yes.  Foundation problems are especially common in homes that were built during the building boom of the 1950s and 60s.  In those decades, home builders poured concrete slabs as thin as two inches over unstable top soil that was not properly compacted.  Such thin concrete foundations were also poured without the use of steel rebar reinforcement, which left them even more brittle over time.  Moreover, these building errors were especially compounded by improper swale drainage of water around homes, and especially homes built on a hillside, even if they used caissons construction or pilings for support!  And so, yes, slab foundations from the 1950s and 60s, as well as ones built from 1900-1950 that used unreinforced concrete, bricks or river rocks as foundations, are all especially susceptible to damage.

Will I be able to see my foundation contracting and expanding?

At this point, you may be asking yourself, “how can I tell if my foundation is in trouble?”    Well, the answer is, it’s not always easy to tell.  The first thing that you can do is walk around your house and review your floors, your walls, and your ceiling and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is my floor level? Does my floor squeak when I walk around?
  • Can I see any cracks on the walls around my doors and windows?
  • Are my windows and doors sticking?

Even if you answered “no” to the above questions, you should still be concerned and choose to get some free professional advice from foundation experts such as the ones at Weinstein Construction.  Weinstein’s professionals can offer you a free, no-obligation inspection of your foundation, as this is one of those situations where getting an early warning can make all the difference!  If you are able to catch damage early, you may just need to repair a few cracks and improve the drainage around your house to funnel rainwater away from your property.

Will my homeowner’s insurance pay for a house foundation crack repair?

Typically, no, because most homeowners do not choose to purchase the expensive insurance policies that cover subsidence or landslide damage.  As such, it is incredibly important for homeowners to be vigilant and inspect regularly their home’s foundation.  It’s always going to be much cheaper and quicker to take care of minor damage today than have to pay for a full foundation replacement later on!

Are foundation failures expensive to repair?

Even if your foundation is already damaged, you could get it repaired fairly easily if the damage is not too extensive.  For example, foundation cracks up to a ¼ inch wide can be filled with epoxy that solidifies and reconnects the two portions of the foundation together.  In other cases, reinforced steel rods can be anchored in place and sealed with new concrete.  The professionals at Weinstein Construction can fill you in on all of these details – they have a solution to fit every budget!

When homeowners have a problem, Weinstein Construction’s Los Angeles home foundation repair crews have the right solution at the right price!  The professionals at Weinstein Construction are experts at foundation repair and replacement so call Angela today at (800) 862-6582 for a free inspection and review of your home’s foundation!

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