Does Your Colorado Home Have a Foundation Problem?

For Colorado homeowners, here are tips to help you identify early warning signs of foundation problems in your home.

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Do you know the early warning signs of foundation damage in your own home? For Grand Junction, CO, homes both big and small, old and new, modern or traditional, foundation damage can be both easy to miss and expensive to fix. The foundation of all homes settles into the ground as the homes age. What’s different across structures is the different impacts caused by settling of the home’s foundation. To identify whether your home has foundation damage, here are some common signs to look for, from a damaged chimney to cracking walls and floors. 

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What Causes Foundation Damage? 

When a new home is constructed, a foundation is built on top of the soil where the structure of the home will sit. On top of the concrete foundation, the builders create stem walls that act as the main infrastructure for building the home’s other walls, floors, and other parts of the structure. The home’s foundation and stem walls make up the major support system of the home. That’s why a small crack or other damages to a home’s foundation can impact the entire building. From doors and windows to floors and walls, foundation damage can spread and cause issues throughout the home.

There are three main things that cause foundation damage, according to Realtor.com:

  • Stem wall deterioration
  • Foundation settlement
  • Foundation heave

When the soil around and beneath a home moves over time, foundation settlement and heave can occur. When the soil shrinks underneath a home, the effects on the home’s foundation are called settlement. When soil levels rise underneath a home, usually due to shrinking in another area nearby, foundation heave is the result. 

In addition to heave and settlement, water can damage a foundation as a result of major events like a flood or minor ones like a leaky pipe. Poor drainage from a home’s gutters and downspouts can also cause damages to a foundation. That’s why it’s important to have a home’s gutters cleaned each season and to ensure that water draining from downspouts flows away from the foundation and does not pool near the home’s exterior structure.

Common Indicators of a Damaged Foundation

From falling chimneys to doors that are hard to open and close, foundation damage can cause massive issues affecting the entire structure. If you’ve experienced any of these common indicators of foundation damage, the fix may be a simple one as long as you catch it in time. 

To find foundation damage before the problem grows, here are eight common things to look for:

  1. Cracks in the walls or floors or around windows and doors
  2. Doors and windows that are hard to open and close
  3. Openings between windows and doors and exterior walls   
  4. Slanting or sagging floors
  5. Cracking, fallen, or leaning chimney
  6. Bowing basement walls
  7. A moldy or musty-smelling basement or crawl space
  8. Water damages that can’t be explained

Homebuyers Beware: Foundation Damage Can Impact Homes of Any Age 

Foundation damage occurs as a result of changing conditions over time, but issues can affect homes both new and old. That’s because time isn’t the only factor in foundation deterioration. One major factor is weather conditions. Another is soil conditions affecting the area. It may seem difficult to comprehend, but even new homes can be impacted by foundation damage. That’s why it’s important to get a professional inspection that includes the foundation before you buy a new home and to continue that review and upkeep throughout the life of the home. Even a small crack in a home’s foundation can grow and cause major issues in the future. 

Are you looking to buy a home in Aspen, CO? Identifying foundation issues is an important part of selecting a new home to ensure you make a good investment now and protect it in the future. Understanding the common indicators of foundation damage, from doors and windows that stick to moldy and musty-smelling basements or crawl spaces, can help. 

According to Trulia, most U.S. states require homeowners to disclose foundation damage during the selling process. In addition, if foundation repairs have been made recently, you can ask for the owner’s warranty information to protect the investment. Understanding all major or recent minor repairs made to the home is an important step in the buying process. 

If your home inspection uncovers foundation problems, remember that fixing foundation issues immediately is important to ensure they don’t spread. To help, consider asking the homeowner for a reduction in price to fund repairs as soon as possible.

What Does It Cost to Fix a Foundation? 

In Denver, CO, it costs about $14,500 on average to make major foundation repairs to a home, while in Aspen, CO, the average maximum cost is $10,400. That’s a little more than the national average of $10,000, according to Inch Calculator. The average cost to fix small issues with a foundation is about $3,500. 

Foundation repair costs vary across the country and depend on how big the issue is and the technique needed to fix the problem. In addition, whether you live in a city or a rural area can impact the total cost as well. For example, the average cost for major repairs in Washington, D.C., is $50,595, but the average cost in Virginia Beach, VA, is closer to $14,000. What types of repairs are used to fix the damage, how long the issue has been affecting the home, and where you live can all play a major role in how much it costs to fix your foundation. 

Get a Free Inspection Today

Whatever the issue, it’s best to put your home’s long-term foundation health into the hands of a professional. That’s why Foundation Repair of Western Colorado provides free foundation inspections and repair estimates. To learn what steps you need to take today to protect your foundation now and in the future, contact our repair experts. 

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