Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My favorite foundation repair "Buzzwords"

I love it when people try to tell me that there's nothing wrong with their home, after they call me out to ask my opinion of what's wrong with their home.  The intention of this post is really, to be light hearted, but at the same time answer questions over what some of this really means.  So, in honor of David Letterman, this is my top ten list.

10) "That's just settlement......."
You are absolutely right, that is settlement.  This goes in conjunction with "Every house settles." Both statements are true but as we discussed before,  there is normal settlement and abnormal settlement. 

9) "I have a cracked slab"
Yes you do.  So does virtually every other homeowner on the planet :) Concrete cracks, it's in it's nature.  I always go back to "is your slab functional or non functional."  Virtually every foundation is cracked in some way or another.  But is it functioning properly, that is the question. The term "cracked slab" actually hits me like someone scraping fingernails on a black board.  It's my least favorite term in the English vocabulary. 

8) "That door doesn't work every winter"
This would be the definition of extreme seasonal movement.  If the house is moving enough from season to season that doors don't work, and windows won't open, then we need to look at a repair plan, or adjusting your maintenance schedule around the house.   If you are OK with being unable to open your rear exit door every summer, then you are just fine!

7) "Those doors haven't worked since 1984"
That means you've had a foundation problem since 1984.......

6)  "I think my builder built it this way."
While I have seen some pretty crookedly built foundations, the cracks in your sheet-rock, the gaps in your expansion joints and the cracks in your brick? Not real sure the builder built those in.

5) "Somebody told me that these cracks aren't the bad ones."
Cracks simply mean movement.  There are vertical cracks, there are horizontal cracks, and there are diagonal cracks.  Each crack tells a story.  In the end, each crack can mean you have a foundation problem, but they are guiding us to which type of movement you have, and what is going on with your foundation.

4) "If I cut that tree down, it'll be alright."
It depends.  There is a chance that if that tree was put in after your house was built, you could restore the house to normal by cutting it down.  It's not guaranteed however.  It's also possible that you could end up with a bigger problem than what you started with.

3) "You can't really fix a foundation."
I actually had someone tell me this recently. I don't understand that.  If man built it, man can fix it.  Foundations can be fixed. 

2) "Somebody dropped something on my floor, that's why my tiles are cracked."
Yes, the golf ball bouncing on your tile caused it to crack from front to back, and spiderweb through your kitchen........

And now, for my new favorite......

1) "It was fine before the drought of 2011...."
This actually has some credence, but I hear it way too often to believe that every house I look at was fine until 2011.  I have heard it on houses that were built AFTER 2011 :)

And there, ladies and gentlemen, is the top ten buzzwords in the foundation repair industry.  Usually, with some clarification, you can understand what all of this means for your house.  I promise, foundation repair isn't that scary, and usually isn't as costly as people fear.   If you have any questions over your home, or if you are experiencing any of the things above, don't hesitate to contact me.

Thanks for reading,
Brian

Email Me Directly: Brian.Gilchriest@permapier.com
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