Did you know that an estimated one in four U.S. homes has some damage caused by expansive soils? Foundation cracks, in turn, are some of the most common types of such damage.
Unfortunately, foundation damage isn’t only unsightly; it can also be a safety hazard. For instance, it can result in buckling and uneven floors, raising your risk of slips, trips, and falls. Moreover, it can introduce water into your home, causing potential water damage.
The good news is that top-notch foundation repair services can keep such problems at bay. Not only can they fix existing damage, but they can also help prevent future water seepage.
To that end, we created this foundation repair guide to help you choose the right services. So keep reading, as you can use our tips to avoid dealing with shoddy work.
Stick to a Licensed Service Provider
Contractor licensing is a process that confirms a professional’s competency and experience. Moreover, most states require licensure, as it validates a contractor’s credibility and legitimacy. After all, one can only apply for a license after gaining years of training and supervised work.
California is an example of a state requiring foundation repair contractor licensure.
The Golden State follows a monetary threshold dictating licensure requirements. Anyone who carries out a project with a value of at least $500 must have a contractor license. It’s against state law for unlicensed folks to contract such work.
Moreover, California, like many other states, has specific license types. The type carried by a contractor specifies and limits the work they can perform.
For instance, to perform concrete work worth $500 or more in the Golden State, a contractor must hold a C-8 license. They must also have a D-6 license to provide concrete restoration services.
That said, check your state’s licensing laws before scheduling foundation repair. If a license is mandatory, then please make sure you hire a licensed contractor. Your local licensing board can help validate a contractor’s licensure for you.
Check for Compensation and Liability Insurance
Before hiring a foundation repair firm, confirm that they carry worker’s compensation insurance. It covers their employees who might get injured while working on your property. It’s crucial, considering that over two million job injuries occur in the U.S. each year.
By hiring a contractor with insured workers, you won’t be liable if they get hurt as they fix your foundation. The exact opposite can happen if you allow uninsured individuals to work in your home. Not only will you be liable for their medical costs, but they may also sue you.
The foundation repair contractor you hire should also have general liability insurance. It protects you, the homeowner, from liabilities in case of property damage. For instance, in the unlikely event that one of the workers hits a water line, you won’t have to pay for the repairs.
But if uninsured folks were to damage your property, they’ll unlikely compensate you. In that case, it’ll be up to you and your wallet to pay for the repairs.
So before hiring a foundation repair contractor, ask for a copy of their policies. You can then call the insurer to confirm if they’re valid and up to date.
Invest in Comprehensive Foundation Repair Services
Aside from expansive soils, water can also cause foundation cracks and fractures.
For example, water from storms, snow, and leaky pipes can collect around the foundation. When that happens, the accumulation can exert hydrostatic pressure against the concrete. That extra force can then cause the structural material to crack.
Moreover, such damages allow water to seep into the foundation. From there, the water can find its way into the basement, causing further damage and mold growth.
Improper soil preparation before the foundation’s construction can also cause foundation damage. For instance, inadequate compaction allows the soil to move or erode. As a result, the laid foundation can also shift, leading to cracks.
Therefore, a thorough inspection of the damage is necessary to determine its cause.
For example, a reputable foundation crack repair company will first check if it’s due to water. If it is, then the pros will seal the cracks with hydraulic cement. They will also use heavy-duty carbon fiber strips to protect against future seepage.
Next, the pros will redirect potential water seepage to a waterproofing system. But if you don’t have one yet, you can have them install a pressure relief drain system. It’s a worthy investment as it helps relieve hydrostatic pressure against your foundation.
Review the Warranty’s Terms and Conditions
Most foundation repair contractors offer lifetime warranties, a warranty on the repair alone.
However, you might meet a few that might make it seem that the warranty is for the entire foundation. That’s highly unlikely, so before you fall for their marketing ploy, read the fine print first.
Also, note that a lifetime warranty is only helpful if the company is still in business once you need to make a claim. If they’ve gone bankrupt, then no one will honor your warranty. Instead, you’ll have to pay another contractor to fix your foundation.
For that reason, it pays to hire a contractor that’s been around for at least a decade. Their time in business can indicate their financial position.
Another thing to confirm in a lifetime warranty is if it’s transferrable. You want that, especially if you have plans to sell your home, as it lets you transfer it to the new owners.
The new owners, in turn, should be able to get foundation repairs covered by the warranty for free.
Get Quality Foundation Repair Services Today
And there you have it, your guide on how to select the right foundation repair services. Now you know that it involves ensuring they come from licensed, insured contractors. You also learned that they should always include a thorough inspection and warranty.
So, why not start looking for high-quality foundation repair services ASAP? The sooner you do, the sooner you can have pros fix those cracks and buckling floors.
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Alison Lurie is a farmer of words in the field of creativity. She is an experienced independent content writer with a demonstrated history of working in the writing and editing industry. She is a multi-niche content chef who loves cooking new things.