As someone who owns a home or property, you are also the owner of a foundation. It could be a slab or a basement foundation, and no matter what the style, it supports the building above it. That is why any issues with the foundation often ripple upwards and cause problems with the structure. The most obvious signs are when doors or windows fail to latch or they jam when opening or closing, cracks or breaks in rigid flooring installed over the concrete floor, or the appearance of cracks in the walls or ceilings (particularly where they meet).
Now, you might hear some tell you that your house is just ‘settling’ or that it is ‘an older house and these things happen. That may or may not be true, but if you have one or more symptoms and you notice a few things changing with the foundation, it is a sign that you need expert help.
To avoid introducing further risks via the DIY approach – especially if you don’t have the experience or equipment – your best option is to call in a foundation repair professional to make short work of any problems. So, should they be handling structural repairs in the first place? Let’s explore this in more detail.
The Foundation and the Structure Work Together
Now, this is when the big question posed in the title above enters the equation. Should you hire someone to do all of the foundation work, and a separate team to do the structural work? Or is it a good idea to consider an all-in-one solution?
The truth is that there is no universal answer to such a question. That said, let’s consider the following critical elements:
Foundation Repair Experts May Know Where Most Structural Issues Come From
When calling in a dedicated foundation repair team, as is dictated by the responsibilities of their role, they will have invaluable knowledge. Not only will they likely know whether the foundation issues caused structural damages, but they may even be able to identify what in particular is going on with your property. This can make it easier to isolate risks and formulate an appropriate response to take care of structural issues.
Foundation Repair Teams Will Have Equipment Ready for Structural Work
Of course, some foundation repair professionals may be willing to take on structural work, especially if they can determine with accuracy whether your foundation issues have caused problems. The equipment that they use is ideal for structural work just as much as it is for foundation repairs. Therefore, if you find a company willing to take care of everything that is certified, insured and well-reviewed, it’s one less thing to worry about!
Some Foundation Companies Require You to Outsource Structural Work
Alternatively, what happens when a foundation repair team isn’t willing or capable of fixing structural issues? If this is the case, you may have little choice other than to manage two teams. If you need to do this, ensure both companies are dependable and have a proven track record, and be certain that they communicate well on the work required so they aren’t contradicting each other.
Pay Attention to Inspections and How You are Quoted
Clearly, it is always best if you can enjoy one-stop shopping, so to speak, with your repair professionals. Sometimes, as noted above, this might not be an option, in which case you will have to make alternative arrangements in the manner that we discussed earlier. There are some indicators of when this might happen, however. Often, the way that your foundation repair team builds an estimate or examines the property will tell you if they are going to be able to complete all the repairs.
How to Ensure that You Chose the Right Repair Team
Of course, if you do happen to take on a foundation repair outfit that also offers to perform structural repairs, it doesn’t mean that you can wash your hands of the project and kickback. While you certainly don’t need to worry about doing the work yourself, you need to be confident in the individuals you hired – not to mention their workmanship. In consideration of this, here are a few ways to keep tabs on the team you’re trusting with your property.
Naturally, it’s a good idea to ‘read the room,’ so to speak. And by that, we mean getting to know who the most respected and well-rated foundation repair outfits are in town. Explore their websites, Google reviews, testimonials, and even their company social media pages to gauge the temperature and see whether individuals are pleased with their work. Of course, on their website, don’t forget to consult their service options – it could very well be that they offer foundation and structural repair services with excellent workmanship at a great price! This makes it easier to narrow down the candidates, plus you might be able to take advantage of special offers or competitive prices that would have otherwise slipped under the radar.
Ensure that They’re Insured!
Anyone doing a job that could cause serious damage or destruction if not handled correctly should carry full insurance. This includes general liability and workers’ compensation, the latter of which is important if one of their team members gets hurt on the job as, otherwise, the cost could potentially be passed along to you. Since a foundation is literally holding up the entire structure and one can cause damage to the other, this is a serious gamble.
Any repair or renovation professional that argues they don’t need to be insured is not a true professional; they are mere hobbyists and should be avoided. Even if the work they would do turned out to be excellent, there is a risk factor present when uninsured that simply doesn’t need to exist in the first place. Whether your foundation repair company of choice can also perform structural work or if you need to manage two separate teams, be certain to never overlook this. And don’t be afraid to say no – it’s your property they’re working on!
Watch How They Work
What do we mean by this? Well, for example, they should not focus entirely on the exterior of your home or property. They should perform a thorough exam of the foundation, of course, probing it for weaknesses and gauging whether or not the exterior walls are straight and true. However, that’s not all that needs to be done; they should also perform an equally comprehensive assessment indoors within the basement, crawl spaces, and other interior structural components. If a team does not ask about doors and windows, wallboards, plaster cracks or other similar issues is unlikely to offer structural help.
With all that in mind, are you in need of foundation and structural repair services? Our own team at The Foundation Experts is a full-service solution. When you call us for help with a foundation issue or leak, we take the time to assess the entire situation. We consider whether structural components played a role in the problem or suffered damages as a result of foundation issues, and we’ll also roll the costs of all repairs into your estimate. Get in touch with us today, and let’s discuss your repair needs together.