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Debunking 6 Myths About Foundation Damage

sticking windows, a common foundation problem sign

In the realm of home maintenance, few topics are surrounded by as much misinformation and anxiety as foundation damage and repair.

Myths and misconceptions can often lead homeowners astray, causing unnecessary worry or, conversely, a dangerous level of complacency.

This article aims to shed light on the truth by debunking the six most common myths about foundation damage. We’ll separate fact from fiction, providing you with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions about your property’s foundation health.

Let’s get into it.

Myth #1: Overwatering Can Damage Your Foundation

You’ve spent so much time cultivating the beautiful landscaping surrounding your home. Now it turns out that if you use just a little too much water on your plants, you might crack your foundation. What are you supposed to do?

This myth is one of the sillier ones, but it’s based on genuine concern. The good news is that NO, you won’t crack your foundation or otherwise damage it if you happen to overwater your hydrangeas.

In fact, the flowers and shrubs you keep close to your home actually serve as a natural waterproofing barrier. The root systems near your home – as long as they’re not extensive – will absorb the water that would otherwise damage your foundation.

worker digging near foundation landscaping

Not only that, but when you water the plants around your home, you keep the soil healthy and flood-prepared.

How? When the area goes without rain for a while, the soil in the area shrinks. When it does finally rain again, your soil won’t be able to absorb as much of it as it normally would. As a result, more water will be able to reach your foundation.

What’s the moral, then? Keep on watering your perimeter, and don’t worry – a little overwatering will have more of an impact on your plants than it will on your foundation.

Myth #2: You Can Fix a Leak By Filling It

So you’ve spotted a leak in your home. That’s no big deal, right? Just take a bit of caulk, fill it up, and the problem’s solved!

If only it were that easy. While filling a crack with caulk or another substance does visually remove the problem, you’ve only treated a symptom, not the illness. You’ll need to get in touch with a professional repair contractor if you want to keep your foundation from flooding again.

Myth #3: Cracks Only Appear in Your Foundation If It’s Poorly Built

It’s human nature to try and blame someone else for the problems that arise in older homes. After all, you’ve done nothing wrong – it’s the original builders who must have set your foundation improperly!

Bad news: cracks can appear in old foundations, new foundations, and foundations somewhere in the middle. While foundations made out of brick or concrete are more prone to cracks, any materials will fracture when exposed to enough hydrostatic pressure.

There’s a silver lining here, though: you can work to prevent cracks in a new foundation by waterproofing your home. If you invest in an interior or exterior drainage system, it’ll be much easier to keep your belongings dry, no matter how new or old your home is.

gutter downspout without an extension

Myth #4: A Foundation Crack Will Grow Less Severe Over Time

Even if you do suspect there’s a crack in your foundation, you don’t have to deal with it right away, do you?

It’s often better to deal with cracks as soon as you suspect they’re there. Why? Because even if the symptoms of a crack lessen over time, the damage will remain and will likely get worse.

Myth #5: Foundation Repair Is Extremely Expensive

You might not be able to afford to wait, but can you afford foundation repair at all?

If you want to save money on your foundation repair,
seek out several free quotes before committing to a contractor. With this cost analysis in hand, you’ll be able to come away from a contractor meeting with more money in your wallet.

Alpha employee greeting customer at door

Myth #6: Selling a Home With Foundation Repair is Impossible

Some homeowners believe that a cracked foundation is the death knell for their home. After all, what buyer is going to want to take on the challenge of a cracked foundation?

As it turns out, it’s not impossible to sell a home that has a cracked foundation. Even homes with a history of foundation problems have sold before. The trick, when selling homes like these, is that you as a homeowner must either fix the cracks in your foundation or inform potential buyers of the detriment.

Repairing your foundation is going to cost you some money. After you’re done, though, you’ll be able to sell your home at full value. If you choose instead to disclose that your foundation has cracks that you haven’t fixed, you won’t be able to bring in as much during your final sale. Homes with foundations that haven’t been repaired can lose up to 30 percent of their market value. That’s a hefty chunk of change, but some owners have found the costs balance themselves out.

Contact Alpha Foundations for Foundation Truths

As we’ve navigated through the misconceptions surrounding foundation damage and repair, it’s clear that accurate information is key to properly addressing these critical issues.

With over 22 years of experience, Alpha Foundations has witnessed and remedied an array of foundation problems, standing as a testament to our expertise.

If you’re facing foundation concerns or simply seeking peace of mind regarding the integrity of your home, we encourage you to take the next step.

Schedule a free inspection with Alpha Foundations today, and let our seasoned professionals provide you with the solutions and assurance your home deserves.

Alpha Foundation inspector walking with homeowner during an inspection
Ted Dryce

Ted Dryce

Content Writer

Ted is an SEO Content Writer who has been with Groundworks since 2021. He’s covered home repair topics ranging from crawl space encapsulation to regional soil conditions. When he’s not working, Ted is performing improv comedy and working on his own creative projects.

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