Here are some timely foundation and basement tips that can ensure years of worry-free living for homeowners in the Saint Paul, Minnesota region.
For most people, a house is their biggest and most important lifetime investment. Keeping it in good repair not only makes good financial sense, it’s also a vital health and safety issue for everyone living inside, and all of that starts with solid foundations and dry basements.
Foundation repair essentials for Saint Paul homeowners
In Minnesota, the seasonal changes we see in temperature, moisture and humidity can put a strain on foundations, no matter how they were built. Expansion and contraction of the soil, combined with the forces of groundwater (known as hydrostatic pressure) can cause parts of your foundation to weaken or shift over time and reduce their load-bearing capacity.
Here are a few of the most common causes of foundation damage in the Saint Paul area:
- Improper soil compaction or grading around the house
- Lack of drainage around the foundation
- Unusual storm or seismic activity
- Gaps in concrete that allow water to collect around structural elements
- Shallow piers that do not contact stable soil
- Poor construction or site preparation methods
- Hydrostatic pressure causing foundation parts to twist, buckle, or shift out of place
It’s important to remember that almost every home settles a little as soil conditions change, and as building materials age and react to Minnesota weather. Usually this only results in minor cosmetic damage that can be easily corrected, often with inexpensive do-it-yourself materials. But when any of these warning signs stand out, it’s time to take a closer look.
- Expanding cracks and gaps in interior finish materials
- New or worsening tilts, soft spots, or separations in flooring
- Widening “stair-step” cracks in exterior masonry
- Building materials that have recently shifted out of alignment
- Doors or windows that have recently begun to stick
- Signs of unwanted moisture in basements or crawl spaces
If you see one or more of these warning signs in your home, it’s a good idea to have them checked out by a qualified foundation technician. Not every foundation problem is an immediate cause for worry, but without the right professional remedy, these issues tend to get worse (and more costly) over time.
The good news is that thanks to new technology, you have a number of repair options that can affordably bring your foundation back to “like new” condition. Olshan Foundation Repair offers exclusive patented systems that are simple to install, minimally disruptive to your property, and can be adapted for virtually any situation and budget.
What to do if your basement is leaking
Another issue that Minnesota homeowners confront on a regular basis is unwanted water in a basement or crawl space.
This can happen when groundwater or stormwater finds its way through cracks, gaps, or worn seals, or when you have a plumbing leak that goes undetected and allows water to accumulate underneath or behind structural parts of your home. Also, the same hydrostatic pressure that can cause parts of your foundation to fail can also push basement walls out of alignment, causing them to separate or buckle over time.
Standing water anywhere you don’t expect it is an obvious sign of basement or crawl space leaks. The trouble is, people rarely enter a crawl space unless there’s a pressing reason to go down there, such as a periodic furnace filter change. It’s a good idea to inspect these spaces regularly and watch for puddles, mold, mildew, or mineral blooms.
Saint Paul, MN Basement Waterproofing Service in Action
Olshan Foundation Repair provides expert waterproofing services backed by the foundation know-how to eliminate unwanted water at the source. Remedies include simple drainage improvements, more advanced pumping or dehumidification options, or complete encapsulation services if that’s what’s best for your home.
Again, if you see any warning signs of water damage, it’s important to have a reputable and qualified technician come out as soon as possible to look at your home. The best companies will provide you with a free inspection and initial estimate and answer any questions you have to help you choose the warrantied solution that’s best for your home and budget.
Foundation repair for as low as $125/Month. Get in touch with us for more information
With over 87 years in the business, Olshan is one of the most experienced and respected contractors in the foundation repair and waterproofing industry.
You can safely put your trust in our innovative foundation and basement repair products, award winning services, and famous customer support. Call us today to arrange a no-obligation inspection.