Top 5 Signs Your Home Needs Foundation Repair

Worried your home is in need of foundation repair? You should be. Milwaukee’s marshy base means building foundations are constantly shifting and sinking here.

As a homeowner, maintaining the integrity of the foundation can be the difference between a safe, livable home and one that has a slew of structural problems. It all starts at the bottom.

But knowing whether or not your foundation is in trouble can be challenging since it’s not something you can see. Luckily, there are ways to know your foundation is an issue since clues will appear inside the home where you can see them.

Read on to learn the top five signs your home is in need of foundation repair.

cracked brick wall showing need of foundation repair

1. Fractures or Cracks

If you’ve started noticing cracks in your walls or ceiling, this could be a sign something is wrong with the foundation. It likely signifies the foundation is shifting, causing the rest of the house to move with it.

Several factors can contribute to a shifting foundation, including the soil and moisture under the foundation and even small earthquakes or weather damage over time. Our advice:

  • Determine whether your cracks are moving horizontally or vertically. Different cracks can mean different things and some may just be cosmetic, with no cause for further concern.
  • Watch for cracks on the exterior of the home as well, and be sure to ask a professional to help determine if the cracks are purely cosmetic or the result of a shifting foundation.

2. Sinking

You may notice that one area of your home is lower than the other or has begun to sink over time. This is something you’ll be able to tell simply by looking at the interior floor.

This could mean that the foundation is sinking and there is a problem. It can usually be fixed by having the foundation raised either in the area where it’s sinking or around the perimeter of the home to raise the whole thing and prevent further problems.

3. Rising

If your home isn’t sinking but is rising in certain areas, this could also mean there’s an issue with the foundation. If you notice parts of your floor are beginning to pop up or almost appear like something is bursting from below, this is a problem.

Be sure to look around the exterior of the home for this as well. Since most rising occurs near the edges of the home, you may notice an upheaval around the garage door or doors that lead to the outside.

4. Gaps

A shifting foundation can cause gaps to become apparent in certain parts of the home. If you see that your door frames are separating from the walls or that your cabinets have cracks or space between them and the drywall, this is a sign.

You can also watch for gaps around window frames since they’ll have the same visual appearance as the gaps around the doors. You may see that doors no longer align with the frames around them and have trouble opening or closing.

5. Uneven Floors

Slightly less noticeable than sagging or popping floors is an uneven floor. This could be hard to see but could signify the same type of issue. If you feel your floors are sloping or bowing, there is likely a settling or upheaval from the foundation.

This could mean your foundation is moving, and you’ll want to have it looked at so the problem can be solved quickly.

Don’t Stall on Foundation Repair

Now that you know the signs that you need foundation repair, get your issue looked at right away. You don’t want to delay fixing this problem as it could lead to bigger and more costly issues down the road.

We’d love to help! Contact us today for more information.

What to Expect From Your Home Foundation Repair

worker waterproofing foundation during repair

The last thing a homeowner wants to hear is that their foundation needs repairs. Needing repair typically means that the earth around a person’s home has moved enough to cause harm to the house. This is usually caused by water or soil movement, but either way, it is mostly out of the homeowner’s control.

On average, foundation repairs in the Pewaukee area cost $4,000, depending on the extent of the damage. Some kinds of repairs may cost as little as $500, however, and others can cost homeowners more than $11,000.

No matter the cost, a home foundation repair can be a lengthy and confusing process. If you’ve never gone through it, here’s what you can expect during your home foundation repair.

Be Prepared to Clear a Perimeter Around Your Home

Contractors will need to dig under your home to do repairs, and that means digging around it. While some contractors may just dig under the spots that need care, it is safer to assume they will want access from all around your home.

If you’re a gardener, be sure to move your plants before they begin their work. You will also want to remove any other decorations you have around your home.

Also, expect many holes to appear around your home while the work is done. It may not look pretty, but it will save you from future damage!

Your Home May Rise a Few Inches

When your home starts to lose its foundation because of soil moving underneath it, contractors stabilize it with piers. These piers reach deep into the ground and make sure the foundation stops moving.

Concrete piers are used more commonly than steel ones since they are cheaper and can withstand a lot of weight. However, steel piers will last practically forever and may be worth investing in, even if they are more expensive. In areas where there soil shifting is common—like Pewaukee—the investment often pays off in the long run.

After the piers are installed, the house is lifted onto them. This can mean your house may raise one to four inches, depending on the severity of the damage.

If you have an external staircase leading up to the front door or any other external features, you should prepare for the slight change in elevation.

Plumbing Repairs Usually Come with Home Foundation Repairs

Plumbing systems are usually exposed during the repair process. It may not look great, but it is a good thing. That’s because it allows your contractors to see any damage that may have occurred, which allows for timely repair and identification of potential future problems.

Although it seems so slight, house movements before the repair often lead to either general pipe damage or damage to pipe connections. Leaks usually spring from this kind of damage, which can lead to mold or mildew.

It’s Okay to be Scared of a Home Foundation Repair

There are a lot of moving parts during a home foundation repair. Contractors talk about a lot of things you’re not expected to fully understand, and the price can seem disheartening. But it is a critical kind of repair that often prevents devastating future damage.

Cracks in the wall are only the first signs of a critical foundation damage, and they will only grow if not repaired.

If you live in the Pewaukee area and suspect you need foundation repair, contact us. We can walk you through each step of the process so you know what is happening to your home and why.

Understanding Types of Foundation Cracks and How to Treat Them

As a homeowner, one of the scariest things you may come across is a crack in your home’s foundation.

Foundation cracks are certainly a cause for concern, as they may point to a problem. In severe situations, cracks are symptoms of hazardous structural issues. In other cases, they simply mean water is seeping into your basement during heavy rainstorms.

So, how can you tell if you have a serious crack or a minor crack? More importantly, how do you go about fixing it?

Here’s a guide for telling the difference between normal versus serious foundation cracks and how to repair them.

close up of foundation crack

Vertical Foundation Cracks

A vertical crack in your foundation is the least threatening type of crack you may see in your foundation. In fact, nearly all houses have them.

These types of cracks form because concrete can crack easily when under tension. The problem with these cracks is that they allow water to seep through your foundation in heavy rainstorms. So, they’re worth fixing when you come across them.

An epoxy or urethane injection can easily be used to repair a vertical crack in your foundation. Because these materials are flexible, the future movement of your foundation won’t cause your sealed crack to re-open, so you can rest assured that your fix will be a permanent one.

Horizontal Cracks

Contrary to vertical cracks, a horizontal crack is the most severe type of crack that can occur in your home’s foundation. The cause of these types of cracks? A foundation that is bowing.

A bowing foundation is a serious problem, as it may ultimately lead to your foundation’s failure. This, in turn, can lead to the collapse of your home. However, strapping can be installed on your foundation’s interior area to keep your wall from continuing to bow.

In addition, reinforcing braces or posts may be installed in your crawlspace or basement to address a bowing foundation and the resulting horizontal cracks. Yet another option is to bury anchors in the ground to pull your foundation’s wall out and then secure it.

An industry professional can advise you on what solution is most appropriate in your case and help you get it fixed correctly and safely.

Diagonal Cracks

Diagonal foundation cracks are typically the result of foundation settling, whether your house is old or new. Fortunately, these types of cracks are relatively easy to repair.

The same injections used for horizontal cracks can also be used for diagonal cracks, except extra injection material will likely be needed. This is to account for future foundation movement.

How We Can Help

We offer top-of-the-line foundation repair services and products. We have a strong reputation for inspecting, repairing, and replacing foundation walls and damaged drain tiles.

With more than 20 years of experience in the southeastern part of Wisconsin, we can diagnose foundation issues resulting from unanticipated soil conditions, design changes, construction, and other common causes.

Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can address your foundation cracks and keep your home standing strong for years to come.

How to Conduct a Foundation Check-up

The foundation of your home is designed to withstand immense forces while keeping your home dry and structurally sound. These thick concrete walls deliver on that promise year after year of the deep freeze of Wisconsin winters, and the frequently intense rainfall of Wisconsin summers. Combined with an effective drain tile system and exterior grading to remove water from the foundation walls, you can expect many years of low-maintenance service from your home’s foundation. However, as homes age, the foundation walls often can break down and become weakened, leading to leaks, moisture, and eventually, structural damage that can affect the overall integrity of the building. When you find yourself in need of foundation repair in Milwaukee, New Berlin, and Madison, look no further than the experts at the IHN Company.

You may ask: “How do I know if my foundation is in need of repair before it’s too late?” There are several signs you can easily identify that will tip you off and let you know that it’s time to contact the foundation repair experts. Read on to learn now to give your foundation a quick checkup.

Look for cracks in your foundation

Vertical or horizontal cracks in the surface of either poured concrete or cinder block foundation walls are a warning sign. This is evidence that the water may be infiltrating the walls, or that the foundation has shifted position. In any case, you should immediately contact your experts at the IHN Company for a professional evaluation.

Examine the corners of your basement

Your basement floor should be dry to the touch at all times. Often, poor drainage or water infiltration can be evidenced by moisture in the corners. If you see dark, slightly damp patches in your concrete basement corners, you may have a problem with either the walls or drain tile that will continue to accelerate if not dealt with. In the case of a finished basement, if you detect a musty odor or damp feeling in the corners, the problem is especially critical, since it could easily result in mold in your home. Call IHN today in these cases for our expert evaluation.

Don’t ignore water seepage in the basement

Many homeowners will write off some water leakage in their basement as no big deal. Even if you just have a trickle of water coming in after a particularly heavy rain, it could be a sign of large-scale structural damage to the building’s foundation. Don’t ignore it and end up with a major problem to your home or your family’s health later.

Need foundation repair for your home?

The IHN Company are your foundation repair experts in the Milwaukee, New Berlin, and Madison areas. Contact us today for an estimate, and let us get your basement back to being dry, safe and comfortable. Call us today at 262-691-0402 or visit our website for more information.

Diagram of the typical Wisconsin Basement

milwaukee-foundation-and-basement-repair-diagram

Wisconsin & Illinois Foundation Repair Service

If you have cracks in your walls, floor or ceiling – IHN Company is here can help!

Foundation problems can affect your home’s safety, look, and value of your property. The first step to repairing your home’s foundation is to find the source of your problem. Proper foundation repair and maintenance is essential before it becomes a serious and costly problem is the most affordable and ideal solution.