Your house is one of the few if not the most important personal investment you will ever make, and it should be able last for a long time, longer than your car, your kids will grow up there, and maybe even your grandkids,
That’s if there are no problems with the foundation, the foundation is one of the most important structures of the house the rest of the house can fix with just a little bit of time and commitment from you, you might even leave some things that are not important until later, but not with the foundation, your whole house is on the foundation, any sign of your foundation failing should be taken seriously or you might just sit with a devalued or unlivable house.
Should I Buy a House With Cracked or Sunken Foundation?
No, just no, run away, its not a car, you will be fine for a few years and have to repair it again, it sometimes makes sense to buy a house with a cracked foundation, especially if the price is right and the crack is superficial, my advice is that the amount of money you spend for the upkeep does not justify buying something you might not be able to resell again.
What Happens if You Don’t Fix Foundation Problems?
1. Plumbing problems
The good news is that many foundations are repairable, you will, however, have issues for example with the plumbing below the foundation, pipes can get damaged not just below the problematic area but also in other areas of your house.
2. Pest Problems
You’re also inviting pest inside your house, whether it’s termites or mice, we are not alone on this planet and we certainly are not the only ones looking for shelter, cracks get bigger, the bigger they get the bigger your little pest problem gets.
3. Repair Cost
Another problem is the cost of repair, the cost of repairs to your foundation skyrockets if you don’t take care of the problem immediately, find someone with the proper knowledge to look at the crack even if it’s small, it might not be a big deal at all, its better to know if a foundation crack is structural or not.
4. Resale Value
The most important is when you want to sell your house, I guarantee you that a messed foundation is a deal-breaker, the buyer will not want to sit with the problem and would likely not get financing ones the bank find out.
Foundation cracks are really bad when they cause the structure to either sag, slope, bow, or pull away, the building is playing tuck of war at this moment and will cost you a lot to repair. get it fixed before its too late.
Ways You Can Fix a Cracked Foundation
Shallow Foundation Fix
Instead of digging a trench alongside the foundation and footing, it is advisable to dig below the footing itself and reinforce that area with rebar and then fill it with concrete. Do not dig a continuous trench, do it in increments, I find it best if you dig 1m or 1.2m and then leave a stretch open with the same length and then dig another 1m or 1.2m and pour concrete in after reinforcement is placed, you need to come back and dig up the sections that were left open and repeat the whole process.
The reason for this is to avoid the foundation from sinking while you are busy and causing extra damage.
The shallow footing fix does not bring the foundation up to its former height but strengthens it, thus avoiding future settling
The Pier Fix
The pier fix is ideal because it’s the one that lifts the foundation to its original place. It consists of a metal pier either straight or helical that is forced into the ground until it hits the load-bearing strata. An angle bracket is positioned under the foundation to push it up as the pier is forced down to the ground. You need to place the piers evenly around the damaged area to jack the foundation up evenly. The pier fix is ideal if you have serious cracks in your walls, or if you have step cracks in your foundation.
There are more fixes out there, for example mixing both these fixes to get ideal results.
Ask your contractor how he plans on fixing your foundation. Do a little research or you will end up with nothing but an ornament.
Fix your foundation, before it gets worse, not all foundation cracks need attention but those that do will cause you a headache, you, unfortunately, get unrepairable foundations that are basically when the investment does not add value to the foundation,
A simple solution is to inspect the land you’re building your house on before anything is done, who knows it might have been a waste site, there are different types of foundations for a reason, each one of them is suitable for different types of soil.
One last thing, get contractors that know what they are doing, it will save you thousands along the road.