Which Foundation Repairs Can You Do On Your Own?
How To Know When It’s Time To Call In A Professional
When your Amarillo home has foundation problems, you might be tempted to fix them on your own to save time and money. But how can you tell which foundation issues are suitable for DIY projects and which require professional help? To make things easier, we are going to break down when you can repair the problems yourself and when you should seek help.
Foundation Problems You Can Fix Yourself
There are several situations where you can handle foundation problems yourself without the help of a professional. However, if you are unsure of what you are doing, in the long run, it may be better to call in help.
DIY Crawl Space Problem Repair
If your home is built on a crawl space, there are certain circumstances where you can handle the foundation repairs yourself. First, you’ll want to make sure that you do have a crawl space. Second, you’ll need to ensure that your home is sinking in the middle and not around the perimeter.
When your home is built on a crawl space, look for one of the following conditions:
- Interior wall cracks
- Sagging floors
- Sticking interior doors
The cause may be that you have a floor joist between concrete pillars that needs support. You can find post jacks at your local hardware store, and with the right knowledge and experience, you can install them. When it comes to adding support, sometimes you can install shims for the floor joists. Care will have to be taken as it’s easy to over-lift the floor, causing damage.
DIY Foundation Crack Repair
Generally, hairline cracks in your foundation are not a cause for concern. They usually come from the natural settling of the concrete. These cracks could just be cosmetic and easily repaired with paint that is suitable for masonry. However, if in doubt, call in a professional, as it’s better to be sure than waste money trying to do it yourself only to end up paying someone else to come in and make the repairs.
If you find a new crack that’s no wider than ⅛ of an inch, it’s still most likely due to settling and nothing to worry about. You’ll need to monitor it and ensure that it does not grow in size. Keep track of the crack for several months and once you confirm that it has not grown, seal it with grout and smooth it with a putty knife.
Cracks between ⅛ and ¼ inch are also often the result of settling and should be sealed with a concrete crack filler like caulk to keep out moisture, soil smells, and radon gas. Horizontal cracks up to ½ inch where the basement walls meet the floor do not pose structural hazards and are also simple DIY repair jobs.
When you have a crack in your foundation that is letting water seep in, it may be possible to fix this yourself. You will first need to dry and seal the crack.
You will need to divert the water away from the wall. Do this by removing foundation plantings, adding soil to create a 2% or greater slope to allow water to naturally run away from the foundation, and installing guttering and downspouts.
When You Need A Professional
If you have a concrete slab foundation, you cannot do any DIY repairs. These types of repairs require tools and expertise that the typical DIY enthusiast does not have. There are also several risks involved that make the whole process not worth doing.
Even if you have a crawl space, there are certain situations in which you must call a contractor, including cracked bricks or exterior walls, your chimney leaning away from your house, and sticking exterior doors and windows. These symptoms indicate problems with exterior walls.
When you find cracks that are more than ½ inch wide, you need to consult with a professional. They may indicate a serious structural problem. Repairing the crack itself can be a DIY project, but you’ll want a professional evaluation first to ensure that you don’t have a more serious problem causing the crack.
If you have a large crack accompanied by a bulging foundation wall, you have a structural problem and need professional help. Additionally, if you have cracks that change direction, you may have underlying structural damage that you don’t know about.
Foundation repair companies can perform a thorough analysis to determine the extent of the damage, and most initial consultations are free.
Are You Having Foundation Trouble? Call The Experts At
When you notice sagging floors or cracks in the foundation of your Amarillo home, don’t leave your repair to chance. Call Childers Brothers for expert foundation repair methods.
We only use the best products on the market to solve our customers’ foundation problems. The combination of our superior technicians and products ensures that you’ll receive a lasting solution to your issues.
Call us today at (800) 299-9563 to schedule your free estimate.