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Get Your Home Foundation Checked Before Remodeling

In Residential Blog Posts by John Topa

 There are a lot of reasons why Florida homeowners should have their foundations checked and inspected by a professional foundation repair company before remodeling. Remodeling your home on a damaged or sinking foundation can be a bad mistake unless you like spending extra money to repair newly renovated work. Repairing your foundation and having it put back to its original state is a lot of work and an expense in itself; therefore, it’s imperative that you have an expert’s opinion before you remodel any room in your house.

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 Here are some of the reasons why it’s a bad idea, and what can happen if you remodel your house before having the foundation checked. Let’s start at the top of your house and work our way down the list with typical home remodeling projects in Florida.

Roofing Projects

The sunshine state provides a lot of sun and hot temperatures throughout the year, especially during the summer months. Residential roofs in Florida are constructed with a variety of roofing materials like asphalt shingles, metal roofing, clay, slate, and rubber. Depending on the severity of damage or degree that your foundation has sunk into the ground, lifting your foundation afterward can create a variety of structural and engineering damage.

 Roof trusses will generally survive a good lift; however, the top plates they’re secured to can become loose, which can create loose fascia boards and an entry point for uplift during tropical storms with high wind speeds that Florida is known for. When uplift occurs, roof trusses can move and loosen up, which will make sheet metal screws and panels pop. It can also separate clay tiles, shingles, and other roofing materials. It’s always best to have your foundation repaired first, so anything that happens during the lift can be easily fixed before the new roofing materials are installed.

Window and Door Projects

The last thing you want to do is spend thousands of dollars on new windows and doors for your home only to have them not work properly after installation.

The good news is the rough openings in your home’s construction design provide a little bit of wiggle room. If you wait until your foundation is repaired, you can install new windows and doors that are level and function properly without additional expenses and repairs down the road.

Siding Projects

Whether you’re installing new vinyl, wood, metal, brick or stone siding, foundation repair can cause the siding to buckle, split or crack when under pressure. It can also make nails, screws, and fasteners to become loose; therefore, making siding installations ineffective. Siding that isn’t properly secured is subject to damage during storms, especially vinyl siding because once the wind gets under just one loose piece, it can have a domino effect and remove all the ones above it.

 New stone and masonry siding can be very expensive, but the investment has long-term benefits. This is not a home remodeling project that you want to do before your foundation is corrected. As a matter of fact, the weight alone can accelerate your ground erosion problems and create more engineering and structural damage to your home. You should always repair your foundation before adding more weight to the problem.

Interior Painting Projects

Before you go spend hundreds of dollars on the paint at your local home improvement store or pay thousands to have it professionally done, you should consider having your foundation restored because sooner or later, cracks will appear on your freshly painted walls. Some cracks can be so deep and wide that drywall compound and paper tape are required to fix the cracks before you can repaint the damaged areas.

 Unfortunately, your repair efforts will only last so long before more cracks will appear, and you’ll find yourself repainting again. If you want your walls to look good for at least a few years before just a minor repaint is necessary, it’s vital to fix your foundation problem first.

Interior Drywall Projects

Gypsum wallboard components are the fastest and best way to cover interior framing members. If you have a failing foundation, your investment and time will soon require your attention. It’s very common to see cracks appear in the walls around corners of windows and doors as well as on the drywall itself, especially in the seams. This generally occurs in a short amount of time after the drywall installation when you have a sinking or damaged foundation.

Ground erosion is usually the culprit for a failing foundation, and the forces created when a foundation is sinking can also make the screws become loose in drywall, commonly known as “screw-pops” in the drywall. When this occurs, new screws are required next to the popped ones in order to secure your drywall and keep it from cracking. Additionally, this will also require drywall compound and another paint job, adding more expense.

Interior Flooring Projects

In today’s market, there are a lot of quality flooring products available such as laminates, ceramic tile, and exotic hardwoods. If your foundation isn’t level, your new floor won’t be either. This can create all kinds of installation issues like higher edges on one side of a tile or pieces of laminate that won’t click together, and even if you manage to install the floor, it can have a wavy appearance with dips or humps on the surface.

A sinking foundation can separate grout lines in ceramic tile flooring as well as loosen up the mortar holding it in place. The amount of pressure that happens when foundation shifts or sinks just a fraction is tremendous and this energy is then transferred throughout all the construction components of the house with floors showing most of the signs of its evidence left behind.

Other Home Remodeling Projects Impacted by Foundation Failure

It doesn’t really matter what type of home improvement project you’re doing if you have foundation failure. A damaged or sinking foundation will not stop sinking until you have a professional foundation repair company fix the damage. Other projects that can be impacted include:

  • Decks
  • Plumbing & electrical
  • Cabinets & countertops
  • HVAC systems
  • Swimming pools
  • Additions & attached carports
What’s the Best Solution

Your best solution is to contact a soil remediation expert and have them inspect the state and condition of your foundation before you start any home remodeling project in Florida, especially if your foundation is sinking due to soil erosion. They have specialized equipment and supports that are drilled deep in the ground, ensuring solid support for your foundation.

Soil erosion affects homeowners and foundations throughout Florida, and it doesn’t show any favoritism. As mentioned above, a sinking foundation can cause all kinds of problems for home remodeling projects and add unnecessary expense. The only way to avoid these future expenses is to have your foundation properly repaired and stabilized back to its original condition before beginning any home remodeling project.