Unlike fine wine, not all foundations get better with age. Cracks in exterior bricks, gaps between caulking and windows or doors, or obvious sloping of your floors are more than just cosmetic nuisances. They are all signs you likely have a problem with your foundation that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. Why? Cracks in exterior bricks allow moisture that can damage the sheathing, insulation and the interior walls. Spaces between walls and windows or doors that no longer fit well can result in higher heating and cooling costs. Ultimately, small foundation problems can eventually become bigger ones.
If you notice visible cracks on the interior or exterior of your house or other suspicious signs it’s best to seek the advice of an expert. Not sure what to look for in a foundation repair company?
Keep reading for useful tips on finding a company that’ll detect the problem accurately, do the job right, and most importantly, deal with you honestly.
How much experience do they have — specifically in foundation repair?
As the Better Business Bureau points out: the years a company has been in business may not reflect its experience with foundations.
Just as you’d seek the advice of a medical specialist to treat your specific medical issue, trusting an expert in foundation repairs to fix your failing foundation makes sense.
Does the company have adequate insurance and worker’s compensation coverage?
Anyone who works in or on your home needs to be properly insured. If they’re not, you could be held liable for any damages they cause or injuries they suffer while on the job.
Ask your foundation repair contractor for proof of personal liability, worker’s compensation and property damage coverage.
Make sure to verify that their coverage is current.
Are they members of any related trade or professional associations?
The National Foundation Repair Association, Inc. (NFRA) is an independent body based in Austin. It’s a professional national organization that exists to promote high ethical standards in the practice of foundation repair and to promote cooperation between the foundation repair industry and government.
Are any of their employees (especially those doing the actual work on your foundation) National Certified Foundation Repair Specialists? The purpose of the NFRA certification program is to identify and promote those in the industry who have shown superior knowledge in the industry and a dedication to the ideals of the NFRA.
Qualifications for admission to take the certification test are rigorous as are the requirements to maintain one’s designation as a National Certified Foundation Repair Specialist®.
Get testimonials about the repair company
While you can certainly ask the company to provide you with testimonials of their work, doing your own research will give you a clearer (and unbiased) understanding of the pros and cons of the company. Online review websites are a great source of information. People are always willing to share their positive and negative feedback and with so many review sites available, you’ll be able to gather plenty of information.
Also consult the Better Business Bureau to see if they are accredited how the company is rated. The best companies will have an A+ rating.
Ask for referrals
Turn to your friends, family, coworkers or neighbors for referrals. This allows you to ask specific questions such whether the repair company was punctual, professional, good with communicating, and if applicable, whether they followed-up on warranty work.
Be sure to ask them when they had their foundation repair work completed and how their house fared over time.
Choose a local company
Local soil and climate conditions are often the cause of many foundation problems, so choosing a provider in the area ensures that you’re getting a professional who has knowledge about these local problems and how to fix them.
Get it in writing
A contract is a must before any work starts on your home’s foundation. A contract contains vital information such as start and completion dates, information on applicable building permits and fees, a description of what products and services will be provided, their guarantees and warranties, and payment terms.
When it comes to warranties, be sure to ask what type the company offers. Limited? Lifetime? Can it be transferred to the new owner when you sell your home?
Also look for a company that can offer a warranty trust. This means that if the company goes out of business, there is a plan in place to provide follow-up service, if needed.
The conditions of the warranty or guarantee should be clearly listed in the contract.
Other questions to ask include:
- How many foundation repairs have they completed in the last year?
- What is their inspection process and how will they assess your foundation problems?
- What method of foundation repair will be used? There are several methods available and the one that’s best depends on several factors.
- How long will it take to complete the repairs?
- Will the people working on the job be employees of the company or temporary labor?
- Will there be supervisors on site?
If you have concerns about your home’s foundation, contact us for answers to your questions or to schedule a consultation. Since 1998, Done Right Foundation Repair’s team of technicians has been providing quality foundation repair services in Austin, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, San Marcos and the surrounding areas. Our qualified team has the experience to carefully investigate the problems affecting your foundation and can develop a custom repair plan that works for you and your home.