Have you ever started a home project and later found something wrong, causing you to restart all over again?
Maybe you’ve stained your kitchen cabinets and found the wood was splitting after you had already finished. Or maybe you’ve driven halfway to work until realizing you forgot your wallet, forcing you to turn around and go back.
We make mistakes all the time. We’re forgetful. We’re human. But, if you’re thinking of starting any home remodeling project, you want to start it right.
Whether it’s a window replacement, getting a new front door, or having your garage floor coated, you need to make sure your home is in good health before making any improvements.
If you suspect you may have foundation issues, you must take care of them before making any other adjustments to your home.
So you may be wondering, “How do I know if I have foundation issues? What if I do?”
Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered.
Southwest Exteriors has been an exterior remodeling contractor in San Antonio since 1989. Before giving you your dream windows, siding, door, or concrete coating, we want to make sure your home is steady and ready for a remodel.
Although it doesn’t happen often, we’ve had our experiences with homeowners who have foundation issues with their homes. We’ve guided them to the right solution before we could help them, and we want to help you too.
This article will outline what to look for to know what causes foundation issues, if you may have foundation issues, and what you need to know before starting any home remodeling project.
After reading, you’ll be able to inspect your home for possible foundation issues and know what steps to take to get them fixed.
What causes foundation issues?
To better understand the signs that show you may have foundation issues, you first need to know what causes these problems.
Foundation issues in your home can be caused by a few different things like:
Shifting of the dirt or rocks underneath your home
Extreme dryness or wetness in the soil
The ground has sunk or risen
Ultimately, foundation issues occur when the foundation under your home has shifted. Foundation shifting is natural, and you can’t stop it. But, when extreme or long-term shifting occurs is when it noticeably affects your home.
What are the common signs of foundation issues?
Before contacting a home remodeling contractor and potentially wasting your time and effort sitting through a consultation, you want to know that your home is prepared.
Otherwise, you may have a home remodeling contractor come out to your home to talk about your project, only to tell you that you have foundation issues that need to be fixed before any other remodeling can be done.
There are a few signs that tell you you may have foundation issues. Here, we’ll outline those signs and how to identify them.
1. Cracking in your exterior siding
The first sign of potential foundation issues is cracking in your exterior siding. This can indicate that your home has shifted on one side but not the other, forcing the siding to split or crack.
Take a walk around the exterior of your home to inspect your siding, whether it is vinyl, fiber cement, wood, or other traditional lap siding types.
2. Cracking in your interior drywall
The second sign of potential foundation issues is any cracking in the drywall inside your home. Drywall is what is used for the walls and ceilings in your home. You may refer to it as Sheetrock (although that term is a trademark brand and type of drywall).
If you notice any cracks inside your home in the walls or ceiling, this could indicate that your foundation has shifted, similar to the exterior siding.
If you’re looking to replace your windows, inspect the walls and ceilings around your windows for any cracking in the drywall.
3. Cracking in your stucco or brick mortar
If you think you may have foundation issues, the third sign to look for is cracking in your brick and stucco siding. With brick siding, you may notice cracks in the mortar between the bricks.
Cracking in the brick mortar or stucco siding tells you that your foundation has shifted somehow.
4. Cracking in your concrete
The fourth sign to look out for that indicates you have foundation issues is cracking in your concrete. This could be your driveway, sidewalk, garage floor, patio, pool deck, or any concrete surface in your home.
Like with drywall, cracking in your concrete indicates the ground beneath has shifted and pulled that concrete apart. This is important to fix if you want to have your concrete surface coated with an industrial concrete coating.
Should you fix foundation issues before replacing windows?
It's generally a good idea to address any foundation issues before replacing windows, especially if the foundation issues are causing the windows to become misaligned or damaged. Here are some reasons why:
Proper window installation: Windows need to be installed properly and securely to ensure they function correctly and provide adequate insulation. If there are foundation issues causing the window frame to become warped or misaligned, it can make proper installation difficult or even impossible.
Avoid future damage: If you replace your windows without addressing foundation issues, any ongoing foundation movement could damage your new windows. This could lead to additional repair costs and possibly even the need for new windows again in the future.
Better energy efficiency: If your foundation is causing your windows to become misaligned, it can lead to drafts and air leaks, which can decrease your home's energy efficiency. Fixing the foundation first can help ensure that your new windows are properly aligned and sealed, resulting in better energy efficiency and potentially lower energy bills.
If you suspect that you have foundation issues, it's a good idea to have a professional inspect your home and provide an assessment. They can help determine the extent of the damage and recommend the best course of action. If foundation repairs are necessary, it's best to address those before moving forward with window replacement.
How do you fix foundation issues?
If you notice any cracking in your siding, drywall, stucco, or brick mortar, you may have foundation issues that must be addressed.
It can be hard to tell whether these issues are severe or minor. So, you’ll want to contact a professional foundation repair company to inspect and assess your home. From then, they can provide you with the right diagnosis and assistance in repairing your foundation.
Why do foundation issues need to be fixed before starting a home remodeling project?
If your home has foundation issues that need repair, they must be addressed before starting any home remodeling project. Your home’s foundation is the base of your home, just like your heart.
It must be taken care of in order for the rest of your home to be healthy. If you have foundation issues that go unaddressed and start a home remodeling project, like a window, siding, or door replacement, they will not last.
With windows and doors specifically, they must be fitted specifically to each window opening. If you have foundation issues and order standard-sized windows, they probably will not fit properly.
Another example would be a concrete coating. If you have foundation issues and have your concrete surface coated, the shifting of your foundation may cause the concrete to crack underneath and ruin the coating.
To sum that all up, your new home remodeling project will not last as long as it should or perform as well as it should if you have foundation issues that go unaddressed.
How you can fix foundation issues before a home remodeling project
Now that you know what causes foundation issues, what signs to look for, and why it’s important to have them fixed, you can take the next steps toward your home remodeling project.
If you’re thinking about having any large home remodeling project done on your home, take a walk around and look for any cracking in your siding, drywall, or concrete that may indicate you have foundation issues.
It’s important to know that if you do need foundation repair before your home remodeling project, you won’t be able to start construction on that project until 60-120 days after the repairs were made. This is the time it takes for your home to settle after the foundation repairs.
So, whether you or a remodeling contractor notice any cracks around your home, it’s important you find a trustworthy foundation repair company to take care of your home before you start your next remodeling project.
With Southwest Exteriors, our team knows what to look for when we inspect your home and take measurements for your project. If we notice any signs that may indicate deeper foundation issues, we’ll refer you to a local foundation repair company.
Once your home is taken care of, we’ll be there to then give you the look you love coming home to.
Now, trusting someone with the foundation of your home is a large responsibility. We want you to find the right foundation repair company that is going to take care of you and your home.