What Happens If You Don't Fix Foundation Problems?

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When homes get old (or sometimes, if they’re just poorly built), they can start to have structural problems. And one of the most concerning is with your home's foundation.

If you’re worried your house has a foundation problem, you’re not alone. You might be wondering how serious it is, what it’s going to be like to fix it, and what could happen if it doesn’t get fixed. Here’s what you need to know.

Foundations are the base of your home

First, let’s define what foundation problems are. A foundation problem occurs when the base of your home, typically made of concrete or masonry, begins to crack, shift, or sink. This can happen due to soil erosion, water damage, or poor construction.

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What happens if you ignore foundation problems?

There are a few potential consequences to ignoring your foundation.

1. Structural damage.

If ignored, foundation problems lead to severe structural damage. As the foundation shifts or cracks, your walls start to crack, floors become uneven, and doors and windows stop functioning correctly. Your entire home becomes out of alignment. And over time, this can compromise the stability and safety of your home.

Wall crack caused by a foundation issue

2. Reduced property value.

Foundation issues can lower the value of your home. If you ever plan to sell, a foundation issue will show up during a home inspection, leading to a reduced sale price. It also will be harder to find a buyer who is willing to purchase a home with structural problems.

3. Pest infestations.

When a home’s foundation cracks, pests like rodents and insects can enter your home through the crack opening. On top of that, any water that seeps in through the cracks can lead to mold, which is unsafe for you and your family to breathe in every day.

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4. Expensive repairs.

If you don’t address foundation problems, the repairs can become more complicated and expensive. As the problem gets worse over time, your home will experience additional damage – water damage, mold, cracked walls, jammed doors, and sagging floors – that will cost additional money to repair.

5. Safety.

If the foundation shifts too much, it can cause severe structural damage to your home and make it unsafe to live in.

Is it still safe to live in your house with a foundation problem?

We get asked a lot if it's still safe to live in your home when you have foundation problems. The short answer is usually yes, it is safe. Each house and situation is unique, but nine times out of ten, you can still live in your home. 

However, it honestly depends on the severity of the foundation problem. 

Minor foundation problems, like small cracks, may not be an immediate cause for concern and don’t impact the habitability of your home. But they do get worse over time, which leads to significant problems down the line.

More severe foundation problems, like significant shifting or sinking, can be a safety risk. And in extreme cases, can become dangerous and uninhabitable.

Foundation with severe wall damage it was crumbling and falling over.

What to do if you think you have a foundation problem

If you think you have a foundation problem, the first step is to get a professional inspection from a qualified foundation repair contractor. They will assess the extent of the damage and provide you with an estimate of repairs needed. It’s incredibly important to hire a reputable company to ensure the job is done correctly. This is your home’s structural integrity we’re talking about here – it needs to be done right.

If repairs are needed, it’s important you take action as soon as possible. It’s human nature to sit on a problem and avoid it. But that will only make it worse, more severe, and more expensive down the road.

Foundation problems are a serious issue that should not be ignored. By getting a professional inspection and taking action, you can protect your investment and ensure the safety of your home.

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If you are in our service area and need a professional opinion, we are here to help. We’ve been in business for over 45 years and offer free, no-obligation home inspections. Contact us today by starting a chat in the bottom right corner, filling out this form, or calling us at 1-800-827-0702.

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