The Case of the Never-ending Sequels.
Unfortunately the cases of sequels after sequels, also called ‘sequelitis’, is not a phenomena exclusive to Hollywood. Previously, as we shared Bryan’s experience with us (See ‘iFix Through the Looking Glass) we mentioned that one of the dangers of hiring any foundation repair company without due diligence, was that they do not really explain everything that entails making a foundation repair. Now this may be out carelessness or maybe because they might be afraid to lose a potential client. In any the case what comes after raising the house back into place generally involves more than a fare share of annoyance on the client’s behalf; something that undoubtedly will lead into a misunderstanding that could quickly escalate to suing and the courts. And honestly? No one wants that.
That is why in this post we will touch upon the sequels left behind by a foundation repair. As we had also mentioned previously we always make sure to let the client know of the possible sequels that might pop up once the repair is done. As we generally say: ‘Foundation repair is not magic’ and we rather prepare you for the worst case scenario, so in case some of this situations arise you will already be aware of the possibility. And if it doesn’t, all the better.
So what does a foundation repair consists of? A foundation repair consists of repairing the foundation and leveling the house. We previously touched upon this by using the example of a bookshelf. You’ve probably seen this somewhere: a bookshelf made out of wood, after holding all those heavy books for years begins to bend out of shape; it is like many other materials, malleable. This means that it can be pressed permanently out of shape without breaking or cracking.
If this happens to a bookshelf, which itself only holds the weight of a few books, imagine what happens to a house, which not only does it have to hold is own weight, which is considerable, but also all fo the furniture and belongings of its inhabitants. For years on end.
And what happens when you take away the books from the bookshelf? Does it return to its original shape and position? Well the same thing happens to your house. When we level back the house you will no longer have foundation problems, however what was bent out of shape will remain bent out of shape and this of course has consequences.
Here we will list some of these sequels, so you will know what you can expect beforehand. Obviously this doesn't mean that it will happen with absolute certainty, or that all of them will happen, it is just a list of what could happen.
Cracked Walls: Probably the most common sign of a faulty foundation and/or sequel of a foundation repair. These can be found in both drywall and brick walls, inside and outside the house and they can be horizontal, vertical or follow a stair pattern. These are usually a sign of foundation movement or can be caused by soil pressure pushing against the foundation. Further wall cracks can show up as the foundation is leveled back into place as even a slight movement can cause them.
The following image contains an example of both horizontal and stair pattern cracks on outside walls.
Uneven Frames: This can be either door or window frames. It can happen in both wooden houses or concrete houses. These can also be both a sign of foundation damage or a sequel to a foundation repair. Irregardless of the material, a heavier load on either side will definitely change the shape of the frame; this can case the windows or doors to stick or creak. Sometimes it will be impossible to shut them altogether.
On the image below you’ll be able to clearly notice how the frame door is completely uneven, including a large crack above it. You can also notice the unevenness of the wall/ceiling; an extension of the uneven door frame, part of the larger foundation damage.
Plumbing Issues: When your house suffers foundation damage and the structure begins to sink, it will push the pipes downwards and can fracture them so sometimes they will be broken even before raising back the house. Other times this can happen as the house is being leveled. In houses with Pier and Beam foundation it might be more feasible that this type of damage can be avoided as the pipes are floating, so they might be spared of this fate. In houses with Slab on Grade foundations however, it is more common to have this issues as the pipes are buried underground. When you raise the house the soil is not raised with it, so this will hold back the pipe causing it to crack or break altogether.
And finally, Buckling Shingles: Now you might be wondering how can a foundation damage and repair have sequels on my roof? Well, this might be a little more unusual than the the other examples but it does happen every now and then. Shingles should have a 1/8 of an inch away from each other to account for expansion and contraction with changes in temperature. If they have been installed correctly it is more likely that you will be able to avoid this type of sequel. (Something that cannot be said about ‘Jaws: The Revenge’ unfortunately.) Buckling shingles as a result of foundation repair happen when leveling the house; as the walls are raised this can press the shingles against each other, causing them to buckle. Think of them as two bars of modeling clay being pushed against one another.
So there you have it; these are the types of damage that might take place with any foundation repair. Now we are not telling you this to scare you; we want to be as transparent as possible with you so you know exactly what to expect. That is a constant with iFix; you will always know what to expect: experience and excellence in everything we do.