Foundation Repair FAQ
WHY REPAIR MY FOUNDATION?
Regardless of the cause, foundation movement left unattended could not only cause serious damage to the structure of the home, but it may even render it unsafe, useless and worthless. Homes in need of structural repairs are often impossible to sell except at “fire-sale” prices. Banks often won’t lend on homes with serious structural issues either. And cracks in the foundation and leaky windows and doors can lead to bigger problems with water infiltration and exorbitant energy bills! Do not wait until it’s too late to address these problems. Contact us now for a free evaluation.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SIGNS OF FOUNDATION PROBLEMS? HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED TO HAVE MY FOUNDATION EVALUATED FOR A STRUCTURAL REPAIR?
Some indications of structural problems may include cracks in the exterior brickwork of the home, uneven floors, crooked doorways and windows that may stick or not open and close properly, leaning fireplaces that may be separated from the soffits, cabinets that don’t hang properly and cracks in the foundation itself. These are all indications of potential foundation problems. For a more detailed explanation of exactly what to look for, check out our Foundation Repair page.
DOES LIFTECH CHARGE FOR AN EVALUATION AND WHAT IS INVOLVED?
Liftech never charges for an on-site evaluation. Since every job is unique, our certified consultants must evaluate every foundation individually to determine what repairs are needed. We will provide you with a written proposal that is good for 90 days. In extreme cases we may require a site visit from a structural engineer to complete the evaluation. We will notify you in advance if that visit is necessary to prepare you for any additional charges. If you’d like to schedule an appointment contact us and a customer service representative will be happy to assist you. Don’t wait – our experience shows that these issues may not only get worse, but also more expensive with time!
WILL REPAIRING MY FOUNDATION FIX ANY OF THE EXISTING CRACKS OR CREATE NEW ONES?
Every repair is unique. We have a saying that “stabilization is primary and lifting is secondary.” Closing existing cracks or creating new cracks are all in direct relation to how the structure cooperates while undergoing the repair. In many situations existing cracks will close if there is no dirt or debris in the cracks that prevents them from closing, or if no remodeling has been performed after the foundation failure occurred. In some cases where the failure is severe, trying to close cracks may only create more collateral damage. In those instances, stabilization is the key. Once the foundation has been repaired and stabilized, cracks in brickwork can be tuck pointed and interior cracks in the drywall can easily be patched and painted. We also offer epoxy injections to repair cracks in the foundation. Click here for more information.
HOW LONG AFTER THE REPAIRS SHOULD I WAIT TO FIX ANY DRYWALL OR MORTAR CRACKS?
Every repair goes through a “relaxation” period. This is a period of approximately 90 days when we recommend you hold off on making any kind of cosmetic repairs to cracks in drywall or mortar. This gives the building an opportunity to adjust to the repairs.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT IS THE CORRECT REPAIR METHOD FOR MY FOUNDATION?
Liftech provides a few options for foundation remediation. The method by which we repair your home depends greatly on its construction, underlying soil conditions and the nature of the failure. Liftech makes recommendations as to the type of repair and the method used, and ultimately a structural engineer approves or modifies the final plans. The most common repair methods are helical piers and resistance piers both of which are very effective. In all cases one is usually a better solution than the other given the circumstances. A Liftech consultant will discuss the different options with you at the time of your free evaluation.
IS IT NECESSARY TO REPAIR THE ENTIRE FOUNDATION?
Not necessarily. Liftech only makes recommendations to repair areas that are in need of remediation. There are some cases areas that were not repaired can still susceptible to movement since the house sits on the same soil as the failed area once did. Over time it is possible for those areas to continue moving relative to the repaired area which might cause additional failure in the unrepaired areas of the structure. We typically will only address or evaluate those areas when necessary. In order to ensure no future failure, in rare cases, the entire foundation may need to be stabilized.
HOW LONG DOES A FOUNDATION REPAIR NORMALLY TAKE?
The average residential foundation repair typically takes 2 to 3 days. There are some variables that cause a job to take longer. This includes deeper footings which require additional excavation and result in additional restoration work following the installation of the piers. Where concrete or landscaping is in the affected areas, it may take additional time to prepare those areas for excavation and restore the landscaping and concrete following the repair.
WILL ANY OF MY LANDSCAPING BE AFFECTED AS PART OF THE REPAIR?
Liftech makes every effort not to disturb the landscaping, however in some cases trees and shrubbery may be in the direct path of the excavation. In those situations Liftech may have to remove certain trees and shrubs to access the areas that need repaired. If repairs are performed in the winter most plants and trees lie dormant which lessen the chance of any permanent damage to them. If the work is performed during the spring or summer seasons, the chance of damage increases of course. Great care is taken when removing plants and re-planting them carefully when done. However, we cannot guarantee plants or trees will survive the excavation process.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO DAMAGE ANY UTILITIES DURING THE REPAIR AND IF SO, WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR REPAIRING THEM?
There is always a risk involved in damaging mechanical lines such as gas, water, or electric lines in the process of repairing your foundation. Liftech goes to great measures to identify ahead of time where those utility lines are in an effort to prevent any damage. Liftech notifies all local utility companies for both public and private locates to identify precisely where those utilities may be prior to digging. In the unlikely event that any utilities are damaged in the process, Liftech assumes no responsibility for the repairs, however we will assist homeowners to resolve any damage utilities as quickly as possible.
WILL I HAVE TO DISCLOSE THAT THIS WORK HAS BEEN PERFORMED IF I TRY TO SELL MY HOME?
Yes, local statute requires that you disclose any foundation or structural issues you may have experienced while living in your home, as these are considered “material defects.” However, the repair processes that Liftech uses are all HUD, VA and FHA approved. Every completed repair includes an engineer’s report and plan for repair, as well as an engineers’ compliance letter stating that the repair has been performed in compliance with the engineers plan. All include a certified copy of the limited lifetime warranty provided by Liftech.
IS MY REPAIR COVERED THE BUILDER’S WARRANTY OR HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE?
Most home builders offer a 10 year structural warranty on a home when originally constructed. Structural and foundation movement rarely occur during this 10 year period though. If you see movement within the first 10 years of owning your newer home, contact your builder first. If your home is older than 10 years or is out of the structural warranty period, unfortunately the repairs will come out of your pocket. Homeowner’s insurance typically doesn’t cover structural movement unless it is related to a natural disaster such as a flooding event (and you already have the appropriate coverages in place). The good news is that Liftech has financing available for larger projects. We will gladly discuss these options with you during your free evaluation.
DOES MY REPAIR COME WITH A WARRANTY?
Liftech provides a limited lifetime warranty on all structural repairs. If any future settlement occurs within 5 years from the date of completion that can be adjusted by correcting piers previously installed by Liftech those adjustments will be performed at no cost to the owner or any future owners during the applicable warranty period. If any settlement occurs after five years of the date of completion all work that can be corrected by adjusting the piers previously installed by Liftech, adjustments can be performed at $200 a pier, per adjustment, for the life of the structure providing all provisions of the agreement have been met.
WHAT IS THE COST?
Foundation repairs vary widely depending on size, scope and age of home and typically range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Because every foundation repair is unique, Liftech offers detailed, honest and free evaluations to its customers, no matter how small or big your project is. Our goal is to save you time, money and hassle over the alternatives and make your home enjoyable for a lifetime once repaired! We also provide special financing for larger projects. Contact us now if you would like us to evaluate your project!