The foundation of your home is extremely crucial as it supports the entire construction. Any issues with the foundation can cause several problems and even make the house unsafe to live in. If a home inspector has informed you that your foundation is faulty or you are observing signs of a bad foundation, it can be challenging to sell your house using the traditional method. Nevertheless, there may still be alternatives available to you, so keep reading.
COMMON CAUSES OF FOUNDATION ISSUES
Foundations can develop problems due to several reasons. Inadequate water drainage, unstable or poorly compacted soil, installation of concrete or cement block walls, improper concrete mixing, and incorrect pouring of concrete in extremely cold weather are some of the frequent causes of foundation issues.
The Experts at Cornerstone Structural Repair and Waterproofing in St. Louis, MO, note that any of the following can cause foundation issues for your home:
- Poor Soil Conditions
- Soil Movement
- Poor Ground Preparation
- Poor Building Site Preparation
- Plumbing Leaks
If nearby construction has caused foundation problems in your home, you could have legal options for addressing the damage.
Water Is Often A Major Culprit
If a home with a long-standing stable foundation is now showing signs of foundation issues, the main cause could be water problems. This is often caused by clogged gutters that allow water to overflow and gradually accumulate around the foundation. Improper drainage can lead to weakened soil strength and result in foundation issues and leaks in your crawlspace or basement. Inappropriate landscaping changes, such as the installation of a pool or moving dirt without repositioning it carefully to drain away from the house, can also cause drainage problems. Water can also freeze causing damage in the colder months to your walls. Excess water can cause significant damage to a foundation, leading to expensive repairs. The cause of the excess water may vary, but the result is costly damage.
INDICATES OF FOUNDATIONAL ISSUE
It is common for foundations to experience some shifting, resulting in a few inches of settling, which is typically not problematic due to the weight and nearby soil composition. This normal settling may cause minor cracks in the concrete of the garage, basement floors, and foundation walls. When selling a property, make a note of any small cracks you observe in these areas. If the cracks continue for a long time, it may be necessary to have a structural engineer assess your foundation. Look for signs of sagging, such as stair step cracking, broken blocks, or water seeping through the walls, and call in an expert if the settlement fractures get bigger or the walls begin to lean or bow inward.
The Tricky Issues With Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage
If you think you have foundation problems, it’s a good idea to review your home insurance policy. While it’s worth calling your agent to check, it’s important to note that foundation repairs are usually not covered by most homeowner’s insurance policies, depending on the type of damage. However, if the foundation damage is linked to a natural disaster that your policy covers, it might be possible to get insurance coverage for repairs. If your house was destroyed by a tornado and the foundation was affected, your insurance company might be able to cover the expenses of the repairs. Most insurance policies do not cover repair costs for foundations that are failing due to settling or poor installation conditions. It is important to carefully read the details of your policy and ask your insurance agent for clarification on what is covered.
Get Advice From A Structural Engineer
To get a repair estimate for your foundation, it is best to consult a certified structural engineer instead of a foundation contractor. Look for an engineer who specializes in evaluating foundations and creating repair plans. Working with an engineer can save you money because they focus on offering advice rather than selling repair services. While it’s not fair to assume all foundation repair companies are dishonest, some may suggest expensive solutions without properly identifying the root cause of your foundation issues. To receive a thorough analysis and appropriate recommendations, it’s best to hire a structural engineer who can assess your foundation, create a report detailing the issues, and propose an effective solution.To avoid receiving different opinions and estimates, you can use the engineer’s report to request work estimates from different foundation repair companies based on the proposed solution for your foundation.
Can I Skip The Repairs And Sell My Home With Foundation Defects?
If you need to sell your house even with its current foundation problems, it’s important to be honest about them and adjust your asking price accordingly. If foundation problems are discovered during a home inspection, the potential buyer may become unsure about what other issues may exist with the house that you haven’t disclosed. When a house has unresolved foundation issues, it can significantly affect its overall structural integrity. Consequently, buyers who uncover these hidden problems may choose to withdraw their purchase offer. However, if your house is reasonably priced, and you disclose all the relevant information, there is still a chance that someone will buy your property and take on the responsibility of repairing the foundation.
Do Not Hide The Foundation Problems When Selling Your Home
If you didn’t disclose foundation flaws and the buyer finds out post-purchase, they might sue you. In case of a lawsuit, the court may require you to refund the buyer’s money and pay punitive damages for your neglect. Another possibility is that the court may ask you to cover the buyer’s foundation repair costs in addition to punitive damages. To avoid this, it’s best to inform potential buyers about any foundation issues beforehand.
If you want to increase the chances of selling your house, it’s best to have the foundation problems fixed, as long as you have the means to do so. This way, potential buyers will be more interested in your property, especially if they know that the repairs come with a lifetime warranty. By fixing the foundation issues, you can also sell your house at a higher price. Conversely, selling a home with foundation problems “as-is” will only attract buyers looking for a bargain who are aware that these problems can be fixed without spending too much.
Sell Your House With Foundation Problems As-Is For Cash
If you are a homeowner in St. Louis with foundation problems and need to sell your home quickly but don’t have the time or money to fix them, you should consider contacting Fast Lane Real Estate. We specialize in assisting homeowners in similar situations.
One of our professionals will evaluate your home and we may be able to offer you a cash purchase without any additional fees, repairs, insurance claims or inspections. If you accept our cash offer, we can typically finalize the sale through the title company within a week.You can find out more about our operational methods and review our excellent reputation. If you’re looking for an alternative solution to address foundation issues in St. Louis and are tired of dealing with them, you can contact us at 314-310-8338.