Can Foundation Repair Cause More Damage To My Home?

It’s already hard enough to know your home is showing signs of foundation settlement. You’re seeing many cracks in your home, your floors feel as though you can luge down them, your doors and windows are difficult to open and close, there are large gaps you’re noticing in certain areas, and your chimney is leaning as though it’s failing to run away from the home.
You’ve heard people say foundation repairs can cause more issues to your home. It’s unsettling. It’s uncomfortable. Someone planted the seed in your head that it may be true. So here you are, gathering as much information as you can.
If you’re worried that foundation repair can cause more issues to your home, this article is for you. We hope to reduce those fears you may have.

Is more damage to my home something I need to worry about?

It can happen, though very rare. We’re not in the business of making an already bad situation worse.
We get it. You’re already concerned about your home. You’ve had to spend thousands of dollars for this repair that’s outside of your control. You don’t want anything worse to happen to your home. We know we don’t want anything to be worse for your home, either. Potential damage to your home is always a thought. It’s something to be aware of, but it’s nothing to worry about.
The idea of foundation repair is to improve the condition of your home and relieve stress. The purpose is to relieve stress for you and your home.

What should happen during the repair process?

Everything that has been affected by settling is what should be fixed. How the house settles is often different; the solution is always the same. It’s important to us that your windows can close as smooth as Michael Jackson’s dance moves, those cracks don’t get worse to the point your home looks like it’s falling, and you won’t be looking at things from new angles when your floor slopes, your pipes are feeling less stress as though they finished a therapy appointment, etc.

What shouldn’t happen during a repair?

We won’t make the damage worse. Our job is to positively affect your home; not negativelyYour home is already under a lot of pressure like David Bowie collaborating with Freddie Mercury to create the song “Under Pressure.” And like the stress for them was relieved when they created one of the most popular and iconic songs of all time, your home shouldn’t get worse with new damage.

Times when damage can be created during a lift.

1. After remodeling your home.

Be sure to have your foundation repaired before remodeling. If any repairs occurred to any of the common signs of a foundation settling, damages could happen during the lift.
Here are a few things that can happen to a remodeled home during a repair project:
  • Doors shaved down to prevent sticking will have wide gaps.
  • Fixed cracks will need to be redone.
  • The spackling used to patch the cracks will be squeezed out.
  • Lifting tile flooring will be loose or cracked.
Unless the settling is severe, we will likely recommend stabilizing–preventing the home from sinking further–so that the remodel won’t face damage by raising the home.

2. Workers are still people. Accidents happen. 

I wish I could say we were perfect, but that would be a lie. As rare as accidents happen, they still happen. Accidents happening is still a risk with any company you decide to work with. Our production team at Dalinghaus Construction is well trained. We also have a checks and balances system and have supervisors go out and do job walks. We have procedures to ensure homeowners won’t be affected by human error.
There have been times when something has happened such as a window cracking. When we’re at fault, we take responsibility for that repair.

3. Drywall Cracks still exist. 

Drywall cracks can likely reappear when the lift happens, even if patching happened to the cracks. You might expect the cracks to be filled in after lifting, but that isn’t always the case. Many people are often surprised to see some cracks still exist.
With those cracks, you will either want to fill in the drywall on your own or hire a drywall contractor that specializes in this kind of repair. Foundation repair specialists don’t make for drywall repair specialists. It would be like expecting an expert on giraffes to know everything about elephants. Both species are mammals in nature, but different species.
Regardless of who does the drywall crack repairs, they will never need patching again.

4. Interior settlement.

There are occurrences where your house may have a dip on the flooring of your interior. When this does happen, it is either addressed via void fills with polyurethane for a slab foundation or crawlspace repairs for a raised foundation. They’re accounted for in the project. We won’t lift a home without putting the supporting frames into the repair plan.

5. Plumbing under your home

Is it possible lifting your home resulted in plumbing issues? Possibly. Though it’s far more likely your home already had plumbing issues before the lift. The pipes settle with the structure, feeling the pressure with your home. When the structure is being lifted and feeling less stress, the same should be happening with the pipes.
Keep in mind the majority–if not all foundation repair contractors–will exclude pipe damages on the contractMany variables contribute to damaged pipes, whether the type, how old they are, their condition, etc.
Plumbing on a crawlspace foundation is easy to accommodate. As for slabs, but of that comes from experience. We call DigAlert in California–Arizona 811 in Arizona–to locate and mark up all utilities up to their meters from the outside of the home.
If the job requires polyurethane on a post tension slab, we’ll call a GPRS (Ground Penetrating Radar) to allow us to map all utilities and post tension cables.

Can this damage my landscaping?

It depends on the situation. For the most part, if a plant may be in the way of where we need to excavate and install equipment, we would have to cut stuff out and throw it away.
But let’s say there’s a rose bush you’ve had for 20 years that is precious to you, we won’t destroy those and throw them away. In those cases, we’ve removed them and put them back where they originally were. This all said you should either hire a landscaper or remove the plants on your own if you want to be sure they aren’t affected. Foundation repair contractors generally aren’t specialists with plants or horticulturalists.
While the landscaping process may look to be a little messy, your landscape will look okay as though we were never there. We aren’t creating long-term landscaping damage.

How much care is being put to protect the home?

Again, our job is to make things better for your home. We take precautions and add barriers to not cause more damage to your home.
It’s evident in the number of reviews how much Dalinghaus Construction provides quality work. We fix the situation. It’s not beneficial to you to have a worse situation. Your peace of mind is our concern.
This all said, go through as many bids and options as possible to see what will most benefit you. Be sure to have as many opinions as possible to see what you think will be best for you and your home. That way you can make the most informed decision.
If comfortable, you can start here with Dalinghaus Construction. We’re in the business of taking care of your home. Give us a call at (877) 360-9227 with any questions you may have, or book a free evaluation for your home today!

Brian Dalinghaus

Brian is one of the Co-Founders of Dalinghaus Construction. He has been in the foundation repair industry since 2005. During his career, he has been associated with helping over 4,000 homes and structures throughout California and Arizona.

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