810-215-1500 Monday - Friday 7:00 - 4:00 1090 Grant Street Fenton, Michigan 48430

Keep Your Older Home Safe and Secure for Years to Come

The stately colonial, the windswept Cape Cod, the enduring saltbox, the classic cottage: All across the country, Americans enjoy living in a variety of long-established and beloved home styles. In fact, many younger people are flocking to such historical varieties as people more and more appreciate the architecture of the past.  

A home is largely considered to be old if it is more than fifty years. If it was constructed in the 1920s, it is considered antique. These homes, while lovely, were built during time periods that did not have access to modern building practices and materials such as plastics and concrete for foundations. Some older homes simply rest on smooth rocks. There are homeowners who wish to maintain historical aspects of their homes’ antiquity; that also presents challenges. So, along with the charming nostalgia of vintage homes comes several problems. One is foundation issues.

The quality of an older foundation is based on several factors. Where the home is located, the era in which it was built, the quality of materials used and craftmanship employed, as well as the climate it endures all influence an aging foundation.  Yet, at some point, all older homes will experience some type of foundation-related complication.

Over time, years and years of rainfall and pooling around a home’s foundation will cause erosion and shifting soil. Also, over the years, trees that once began as saplings now stand strong and tall, and their roots push around and beneath a home’s foundation, causing movement and most assuredly a variety of headaches. In 50 to 100 years, trees grow considerably. Their root systems often spread quite widely. So, a tree that was once a nearby sapling could now pose a serious threat to the older home and its foundation.

Additionally, the quality of an older home’s foundation is in large part due to craftsmanship. What materials were used back then? Until the 1940s when concrete slabs were used to secure a home’s foundation, various other types of materials were used. Further, there was a spectrum regarding the quality of the work. So, older homes may often experience varying foundation issues based on materials used, knowledge available at the time, and the workmanship skills of the past. 

Owners of older homes will notice problems with aging roofs, fading paint, and creaking doors. However, many homeowners might not realize that the most important factor to the security of their homes – their foundations – are beginning to fail. Because the foundation is largely hidden, its problems often go unnoticed. People may begin to notice various issues, but they might not realize they are due to the aging foundation. Sometimes, unfortunately, problems persist for too long, and serious foundation-related problems begin to develop. 

One problem homeowners should look for is cracks and fissures in walls both inside and outside the home. Quite often, cracks are found around windows and on or near walls. Another red flag is settling or cracks found near or around the chimney.  

People experiencing uneven floors also should be concerned. This may be an indicator of a foundation issue. Sometimes, it might be just a slight unevenness at first. Homeowners may think nothing of it. However, owners of older homes should take heed and keep a close eye. If the unevenness worsens and begins to appear in floors throughout the home, then serious movement may be taking place. Another telltale sign are cracks that appear in drywall. These cracks often show up around doors, windows, and where walls join together as well as walls and ceilings. Further, if doors and windows don’t shut as they should, this is often another indicator that something is taking place beneath the home. Also, basements may show bulging and cracked brickwork, while the foundation may begin moving inward and buckling in places.

Another sign homeowners should watch for is leaking: a slab leak. Every home has an outgoing sewer line and an incoming water line. If either of these lines are leaking, it can mean a problem with the foundation. This may be due to shifting or settling. When this occurs, pipes are exposed to various degrees of stress. And this can lead to breaks in the line – a serious problem. Over time, the leak will cause water to pool. As water accumulates, various issues can result: soil erosion, rot, mildew, and even mold, which can lead to health issues for the family. Also serious is structural damage to the house as the problem worsens over time. 

There are a few ways to discern a slab leak. One: Owners of older homes should keep close eye on their water bills. If bills increase but water use has not, it might be a sign of a slab leak. Also, if the homeowners hear running water that is not the kitchen sink or bathroom sink or tub, there might be a slab leak. Further, a warm spot on the floor could indicate that a hot water pipe has been damaged or even burst.  

Another sign is walls and carpeting that seem to carry excessive moisture. If homeowners are noticing their homes ‘sweating,’ with condensation appearing on walls and or carpets, there may be a slab leak caused by a shifting foundation. Any extra moisture in an older home should be looked into.

A foundation that is sinking and settling is also a warning sign. Homeowners might notice that they can see less of one side of their houses versus the other side. They need to walk the perimeter of their homes, keeping measurements, and documenting the shifting. Also, perhaps, the center of the home is sinking. These are serious problems that people who own older homes must watch out for. 

In all of these situations – cracking, unevenness, water leaks, sinking, shifting, and settling, bucking and bowing, and excessive moisture – experts should be called immediately. The top expert in the area for responding to foundation problems is Rock Foundations of Fenton, Michigan. Rock Foundation is the best foundation company in the area, having served Fenton and the surrounding community for years.

Rock Foundations is the expert is responding to problems older homes experience, and it has repaired hundreds of aging foundations. When the owners of an older or antique home contacts Rock Foundations, it will immediately go to the home and inspect the foundation and all other occurring problems. Then, it will provide an expert analysis, diagnosing the problem and the needed repairs. This type of work is for professionals. The integrity and safety of a home depends upon it. And Rock Foundations is the area expert in repairing the foundations of aging homes. It undertakes all of the necessary steps to fix the underlying problem(s). Homeowners can feel relieved and confident, knowing their homes will be safe for years to come.

With Rock Foundations on the job, owners of aging homes can sit out on their sleeping porches, sipping a lemonade, and enjoy a summer’s day knowing that their homes are secure. Whether it’s a colonial or a craftsman, every older home deserves to be maintained, and every family deserves to be safe. So, contact Rock Foundations of Fenton, Michigan, today. Let your beautiful vintage home continue to be the envy of the neighborhood!

About the author