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Can You Repair Old Foundations?

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old foundations
old foundations

The foundation of the home is a building block for everything that takes place above it. If the foundation is strong, the rest of the home also tends to be strong.

Some people may consider the possibility that older foundations are not as strong or secure as newer foundations. However, as the old saying goes, you can’t judge a book by its cover.

Old foundations are an essential part of many structures in our area and elsewhere in the United States. When cared for properly, they can be as strong as new foundations. When problems occur, they can also be repaired.

Watch for Signs of Foundation Problems

If you do have an old foundation, it’s important to watch for signs of foundation problems. This is also important for newer foundations as well.

In many cases, foundation issues are not directly associated with the foundation itself. It has more to do with the surrounding soil and the conditions in the area rather than the construction of the foundation walls or slab.

When foundation problems begin to occur, they often show in various ways. Some may be directly associated with the foundation, and others could be seen elsewhere in the home.

When foundation problems begin to occur, they often show in various ways. Some may be directly associated with the foundation, and others could be seen elsewhere in the home.

Sticking Windows and Doors: Often, one of the first signs of foundation problems is when the doors and windows begin sticking. This occurs because the door and window frames get out of square as pressure is put on them due to the sinking foundation.

Foundation Wall Cracks: Cracks may be forming in the foundation walls that indicate a potential problem with the foundation. Long horizontal cracks or stair-step cracks are common types that are seen. These often originate at the corner of the foundation or near a window or door.

Separating Walls and Floors: As a foundation sinks, it puts a lot of torque on the home’s frame. Separation may be seen between the floor and walls. Some separation may also occur behind the countertops and cabinets.

Uneven Floors: It may not be easy to visually see a problem with uneven floors due to foundation settling. What you may experience is dizziness or a sensation of falling as you are walking across the room or down the hallway.

Increased Humidity: Water intrusion is often a part of foundation problems. This can increase the humidity in the basement or crawlspace as well as in the rest of the home. As a result of increased humidity, you may notice that your energy bill is higher. Humid air is more difficult to heat and cool, resulting in higher energy bills year-round.

Have Your Foundation Inspected Regularly

If you notice any issues that could indicate foundation problems, it’s important to have your foundation inspected by a professional. Even if you don’t see problems, it’s generally recommended that you have your foundation inspected every year.

You can regularly inspect the foundation for any problems, and it’s a good idea to make this a part of your routine. Look for issues, such as cracks in the foundation walls, stairs or chimneys separating from the main structure, or a gap in the soil around the foundation walls.

We also offer a professional foundation inspection, and you can request it by calling us or filling out the form on our website. There is no obligation to have any work done. A professional foundation inspection is the best way to know if problems are occurring in the background.

Just as it is important to spot a problem earlier if we are physically sick, recognizing foundation problems early provides the best options for fixing them. This may especially be true with old foundations, as small problems could quickly turn into big problems.

What Can Be Done to Fix an Old Foundation?

One of the reasons why many homeowners are concerned if they have an old foundation is because they wonder if they are limited when it comes to foundation repair options. Let us put your mind at ease. Old foundations are often just as easy to repair as new foundations.

A few different things can be done to get an old foundation back into shape again. When these are applied, problems are eliminated.

Underpinning: This process utilizes push or helical piers that are driven into the earth to a depth where they reach stable soil. At that point, they can be attached to the foundation to provide stability. In addition, it may be possible to lift the foundation hydraulically using those same piers.

Underpinning: This process utilizes push or helical piers that are driven into the earth to a depth where they reach stable soil. At that point, they can be attached to the foundation to provide stability.

Foundation Crack Repair: Cracks in the foundation walls or slab are more than an unsightly issue. They can also weaken the walls, and the problem will only worsen over time.

The cracks can be repaired through the use of carbon fiber straps. These straps are used to strengthen the wall and keep the damage from getting worse. Deep epoxy injections can also be used to repair cracks permanently.

Waterproofing: This option is also often considered as a part of the repair process. It often removes issues at the root of foundation problems, including excess water in the surrounding soil or the basement/crawlspace.

Can You Replace an Old Foundation?

In most cases, repairing an old foundation and bringing stability to the house for many years is possible. With the available foundation repair processes, the foundation will often last for a lifetime or longer.

There may be some instances, however, when the old foundation is so damaged that it cannot be repaired. If that is the case, then the possibility of foundation replacement is considered.

It is possible to replace an old foundation with a new foundation. This could be done on a part of the foundation if the damage is localized or the entire foundation can be replaced.

If you would like to discuss your old foundation and the possibilities for repair or replacement, you can contact us using the convenient form on our website. One of our dedicated foundation professionals will get back to you to provide a free foundation inspection and estimate.

WRITTEN BY

Dave Epp

Dave is the President at Epp Foundation Repair with over 27 years of experience in the industry. Dave has worked on thousands of foundation, basement, concrete, and crawl space repair projects since 1993. Dave is involved in several civic and church organizations and enjoys coaching youth sports, mainly football, golfing, and elk hunting.

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