The weakening or settling of a foundation is a slow process. We normally don’t notice our home sinking, and sometimes realize when it is too late. Most homeowners realize something is up when they can’t open windows or doors easily, but don’t know what is causing the problem.
And, these foundation issues can cause problems if ignored – problems to the actual structural safety of the building or issues with selling your home.
Most often homeowners look to contractors or others who are professionals in Foundation Repair DFW area, or the area where they live. But without some basic knowledge about foundations, homeowners can end up with bad advice or worse, a bad contractor.
So, what should you know about foundation repair in order to ensure the proper diagnosis and treatment of the foundation issues you may be having?
In order to ensure the best quality experience for both you and your home’s foundation, it’s important that the professional you call is qualified. There are several questions you should ask when looking to hire.
1. How are your employees trained? Make sure you listen for tests and certification, and you can always ask to see the certification card.
2. How do you test your piles or piers? Do you use ICC-ES (International Code Council –Evaluation Services)?
3. How many types of piles or piers do you have available? There should be at least 20 standard types that are available. Each case is unique and needs a personalized solution.
4. Do your materials hold any patents? The answer should be a yes, and they should be able to prove it with numbers.
5. How do you warranty your products? A transferable lifetime warranty is what you want.
6. Does your pier or piling system have a protective coating? If it doesn’t, you should ask how long they can expect the piling or piers to last in the ground.
7. Does your company have general liability and workers comp? Ask for proof.
These questions, if answered correctly, can ensure that the foundation will last. Anyone that is not qualified shouldn’t be trusted to do the job – it’s too delicate and too important.
After hiring, you can expect a professional to come and visit your home. They will inspect, looking for both damage and causes of damage. They may need access to structural drawings, grading plans, or may do a visual inspection of the foundation, the structure, the surroundings, and previous construction procedures.
This is to estimate how much movement as occurred since the foundation was laid. That way, the remedy can be better personalized to the problem. They will probably also measure the width of the foundation, the size of cracks, and the dimensions of the home. By looking at other surrounding elements, a professional will be able to tell what is causing the issues and recommend a fix.
They should tell you, after the inspections and surveying, the complete service plan. This means that they explain any problems encountered or discovered, and the actions needed to correct it.
They should give you recommendations and let you know both the placement and type of pilings or piers that will be used in your foundation.
And last, but not least, a maintenance plan should be discussed.