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CAUTION: Problems After Foundation Repair - What's Normal & What's Not

July 5, 2023

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No homeowner wants to think about facing added problems after foundation repair. After all, foundation fixes are often costly and should address most of your property’s issues. On the other hand, it’s not unusual to note some new problems around your home after foundation fixes!

Normal problems after foundation repair include:

  • Issues with sprinklers and plumbing
  • Damaged flooring inside the home
  • Newly formed excavations or crumbling soil
  • Sticking doors and windows
  • Uneven walls
  • Drainage issues

First, note that these issues aren’t typically serious and might only need minor fixes. Second, consider that some problems might fix themselves over time! To better understand what this means, let’s check out each of these in greater detail. Then, you can contact a foundation repair contractor near you with any added questions you might have.

common problems after foundation repair

What Are Some Normal Problems After Foundation Repair?

Reviewing each of these issues individually can help any homeowner better understand how to address normal problems after foundation repair.

Issues with sprinklers and plumbing

Lifting or leveling a foundation can adjust plumbing alignment. In turn, you might experience clogs and similar issues. Also, crumbling soil, as we’ll discuss below, can mean less support for outside pipes. This can sometimes mean sprinkler damage.

A foundation repair contractor might address sprinkler issues during foundation repair. Moving those buried pipes out of the way can ensure they continue functioning as needed.

On the other hand, a homeowner is typically responsible for plumbing repairs and adjustments. If you’ve had plumbing issues in the home before repairs, discuss these with your contractor. He or she can usually suggest repair options or explain what to expect after project completion.

Damaged flooring inside the home

Addressing concrete slab foundation damage usually involves removing flooring inside a home. In some cases, a contractor can return the flooring back to its original position. For example, they might be able to glue carpeting back down after repair completion simply.

On the other hand, pulling up some materials, such as vinyl tiles, can ruin them. Consequently, a homeowner might need to replace some flooring. If you don’t have matching tiles and need to purchase new ones, remember that they’re not likely to match perfectly! Over time, floor tile colors tend to fade or become dingy and yellowed. In turn, you might prepare yourself to purchase new flooring altogether.

Newly formed excavations or crumbling soil

Many foundation repair methods involve excavating the soil around the property. While a contractor replaces that soil after project completion, simply digging it up affects its compaction! In turn, new excavations or crumbling soil might form.

This crumbling soil can move buried sprinklers and plumbing pipes out of position. It might also affect your landscaping and lawn. Compacting the soil, grading it, or adding fresh soil might address these issues.

Sticking doors and windows

Sticking doors and windows are usually a sign of foundation damage! With this in mind, you might wonder why they would stick after foundation repair. In short, lifting a foundation can adjust door and window frame alignment.

In many cases, this process fixes sticking doors and windows or doors that swing open on their own. However, sometimes foundation repairs pull those frames out of alignment.

Additionally, before foundation repair, forcing misaligned doors and windows to close often warps the wood accordingly. After repairs, those wood frames no longer fit the doors and windows properly. In time, this problem might fix itself as the wood adjusts to its new position.

Uneven walls

As with door and window frames, foundation repair can sometimes mean uneven walls. Lifting a foundation or adding new concrete also adjusts interior and exterior walls. In rare cases, you might then notice gaps between drywall panels or a wall and its surrounding molding. There may also be some crack formations due to natural settling. These are normal problems after foundation repair.

After a few weeks, wood framing behind those walls might adjust and “fall” into place. Consequently, those gaps might close on their own. If not, a homeowner might patch them with drywall tape and mud. Additionally, you might install new trim pieces for a more precise fit.

drainage issues after foundation repair

Drainage issues

Poor drainage often risks foundation damage, as water collecting around concrete breaks down its cement binders. In turn, cracks and leaks often form. For this reason, it’s vital to address drainage issues before and after foundation repair!

Along with any original drainage issues, crumbling soil can also hold moisture against a structure. Sealing foundation leaks also means that the moisture has nowhere to go! In turn, it might collect even more around a property’s foundation. Sump pumps, French drains, and grading can help address these common problems after foundation repair.

Is It Normal for Cracks to Appear After Foundation Repair?

The short answer is yes, cracks forming after foundation repair is completely normal. First, lifting a foundation might pull some materials out of position, creating cracks. Second, wood framing often bends and adjusts to its new position over time. In turn, minor cracks often form around ceilings, walls, trim, and other surfaces.

In most cases, these cracks come together within a month or a month and a half. As the property settles into its new position, those cracks then close and disappear. However, a homeowner can also patch them quickly and easily, as said.

On the other hand, severe cracks over 1/4” wide and that continue to grow are not normal! This can indicate poor-quality repairs. Also, foundation repair should address water seeping into your home. In turn, contact your repair company if you notice dampness, spalling, and other issues after repair completion.

Why Won’t My Doors Close After Foundation Repair?

As said, lifting a foundation can move door and window frames out of position. In turn, you might need to give doors a good shove to get them to close properly! However, this problem usually fixes itself after just a few weeks. Those wood frames should shift and settle into shape around a closed door so they eventually fit as they should.

On the other hand, a few adjustments can address this problem if it doesn’t self-correct. If the door sticks around the top, try tightening the upper screws. If the bottom half sticks, tighten the lower screws. You might also sand the door slightly, so it fits more easily. If these steps aren’t effective, a carpenter or contractor can usually adjust or replace the door as needed.

Is a House Safe After Foundation Repair?

High-quality foundation repair should last for years if not decades. In turn, a home is typically safe after patching, leveling, and underpinning. However, some homeowners might wonder if they should buy a home with foundation damage or after repairs.

In short, foundation damage doesn’t typically risk a home collapsing. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore cracks, leaks, and bowing basement walls! Cracks let in moisture that attracts insects and rodents and which creates a stagnant, unhealthy environment. In some cases, bowing basement walls might collapse, exposing a home to the elements.

Additionally, weak foundations let homes settle, risking more interior and exterior cracking. While not common, cracked ceilings can collapse. Also, a settling home pulls plumbing pipes out of position, which often means clogs and water leaks. Along with moisture seeping in through foundation cracks, those leaks mean mold growth!

In conclusion, a buyer certainly can purchase a home with foundation issues if you know their risks and repair prices. Also, past repairs don’t compromise a home’s overall stability. On the contrary, top-quality repairs should protect that home from future damage for decades.


How much foundation cracking is acceptable?

Hairline cracks in foundation concrete are not unusual. As concrete cures, it shrinks slightly, risking tiny cracks. However, if you can insert a fingernail into the crack, it might need patching! Larger cracks and gaps and those letting in moisture also need immediate attention.

How long does it take for a foundation to settle after repair?

In most cases, it’s good to wait a full month to 45 days after foundation repairs for it to settle and cure. During this time, small cracks might appear along walls and ceilings, as said. However, those cracks might close during the curing process. In turn, don’t rush to patch them immediately after foundation repair!

How much foundation settlement is too much?

A contractor might suggest repairs for any settlement above one inch for every twenty feet of foundation width. Also, he or she might gauge needed repairs by damage extent around your property. For instance, hairline cracks are normal, as said, but larger cracks need immediate repairs.

Along with crack and leak patching, a homeowner needs to consider foundation leveling where needed. Failing to lift a sinking foundation just allows those cracks to return! In many cases, the structure will also continue to sink and settle. A foundation repair contractor can advise the best repair choice for your property.

A Word From Our Austin Foundation Repair Team

Total Foundation Repair Austin is happy to provide this information about problems after foundation repair. Hopefully you found this information useful! If you’re in the area, call our Austin foundation repair contractors for a FREE inspection and price quote. We provide outstanding foundation repair, waterproofing, and more. We look forward to hearing from you!


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