Fixing a foundation leak when you’re trying to sell your home is a stressful process. Is it better, though, to sink that money into a home you’re leaving, or should you try to list the home as-is?
The Causes Behind Foundation Leaks
Your foundation can start leaking for multiple reasons. Leaks, however, don’t tend to appear out of nowhere. If you find a leak somewhere in your foundation, it’s likely the result of weeks or even months of exposure to intense hydrostatic pressure.
What causes hydrostatic pressure? Any of the following:
- Heavy rain
- Shifting soil
- Your foundation’s response to the weather
- Your foundation materials
Your foundation can also start to leak when the trees in your yard attempt to grow. Many types of trees have aggressive root systems that will try to break through your foundation to reach groundwater. That’s why it’s often best to try and plant your largest trees and bushes at least twenty feet away from the perimeter of your home.
Signs to Look Out for When Watching for Leaks
You’re not always going to know when a leak hits your home. Oftentimes it’s easy to mistake a foundation leak for a basement leak, as well. Luckily, there are some clear interior signs that give away a leaking foundation. These include but are not limited to:
- Bowing walls
- Shifting floors
- Gaps at the joints of your foundation
- Sticking doors
- Foggy windows
- Water-damaged belongings or furniture
Many homeowners are reluctant to immediately treat a leak. Why? Because it’s easy to hang onto the hope that it’ll eventually go away on its own. Unfortunately, if you don’t treat a foundation leak quickly, it’s likely to only get worse. As a leak worsens, you’ll start noticing its symptoms on the exterior of your home. These symptoms can include:
- Vertical cracks in your walls
- A cracked chimney
- Cracks running horizontally across your foundation
- Signs of sinking
What to Do If Your Foundation is Leaking
The last thing you want to do is let a foundation leak get so bad that it’s compromising the structural integrity of your home. Of course, you can still sell a home that’s been damaged by a foundation leak. If you do so, though, you’re going to have to let interested buyers know that they’ll need to repair the foundation upon moving in. You risk up to 30 percent of your home’s value if you list without repairing the foundation – but you do save money while trying to move out.
If that loss sounds like too much, though, you can always reach out to a local contractor to explore your foundation repair options. Some of the best repair options include:
- Leveling and slabjacking
- Subfloor drainage
The cost of these repairs will vary depending on the size of your home and the severity of your leak. On average, though, they’ll run you between $500 and $6,000. While that may seem like a significant expense upfront, it’s worth considering if you want to get the full value of your home back upon its sale.
Reaching Out for Professional Guidance
Whatever you do, do not try to DIY a foundation fix. It’s tempting, especially in this era of renovation, but it’s always best to leave this kind of work to the professionals. Luckily, most of your local foundation repair contractors will be able to provide you with a free inspection of your home. If you’re concerned about saving money, you can choose to set up a payment plan to pay off repairs slowly.
Don’t let a foundation leak keep you from moving on with your life. Talk with a local professional to see how you can reclaim the value that Mother Nature took from your home.
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