Let’s face it. The foundation of a home is essential to the property as having a roof. Without a solid foundation, numerous structural issues can arise. The bills to repair these problems can be costly. Many couples have changed their minds from buying a Charleston house because of this reason. However, Charleston Home Team Real Estate is here to tell you these problems are not as scary as you think.
The Causes of Foundation Problems in a Charleston House
So what causes foundation problems? The answer to this question varies according to the diverse types of foundations and age of property. Some of the more common types include masonry, concrete, and wood. Although, there are many old houses who have a sturdy foundation, there are some who don’t. However, don’t assume that you’re safe because the house is new. A foundation issue can be present in any Charleston house. Here are the three main reasons for foundation problems:
- Corrosion of Stem Walls – The construction of the Stem Wall is critically important when establishing a solid foundation. Sitting on top of concrete slabs, its purpose is to anchor the house foundation to the ground. Plus, it acts to attach the other walls and floors to the structure.
- Foundation Settlement – Settlement is determined by how the foundation is affected by weather or time. A shrinking foundation causes cracks, sticky doors/windows, and sloping floors. The problem is caused by several conditions including soil type, uneven foundation depth or water leaks.
- Foundation Heave – This occurs when the foundation expands or swells up over time. It happens when moisture mixes with clay soil. This damage can begin during or soon after construction. Plus, it can accelerate after completion of construction.
How to Spot and Fix Foundation Problems in a Charleston House
A qualified home inspector can easily detect foundation issues. However, foundation problems in a Charleston house can be oblivious. Look for cracks in plaster walls or floors. Check for pooling water near the slab foundation. Examine the wet crawl space after it rains. Take a moment to see if there’s an uncomfortable indoor humidity. Other signs include:
- Cracks on columns and window/door openings
- Sticky doors and windows
- Leaning chimney
- Sunken front porch/stoop
- Spaces between the walls and ceiling or floor
- Uneven or sloping floors
Once you identify a foundation problem in a Charleston house, it’s a great idea to get a second opinion. Check with a local engineer to determine the structural procedure you should take. The cost to repair the problem can vary according to the amount of damage. Here is a list of the more common problems and the cost to repair them:
- Cracks – These can be repaired from $400-$3000.
- Sinking Foundation – This involves providing support to the structure. It can cost $1000-$3000 for each pier to support the house. Other factors to the cost includes the foundation type and the amount of repair needed.
- Major Repairs – This involves rebuilding a portion of the foundation or installing a brand new one. Rebuilding the foundation can range from $3500-$25,000 while a brand new one can cost up to $40,000.
Let Us Help You Find the Perfect Charleston House
Noticing a foundation problem in a Charleston house doesn’t always have to mean the house is ruined. Almost every problem can be repaired with experienced help. At Charleston Home Team Real Estate, we work hard locating the right Charleston home for your family. Contact us today at (843) 628-3960 to begin your search for the perfect Charleston house today!