Common Causes of Foundation Problems in Brooklyn
A home in Brooklyn might experience foundation issues for multiple reasons. Some are specific to the local environment, while others are widespread nationwide. They include:
- Improper modifications: Roofing or landscaping work that wasn't completed to standard could lead to your foundation settling.
- Aging plumbing: Brooklyn has its fair share of older homes, with a median building year of 1965. Many of these properties use cast-iron plumbing. When the pipes start to erode, leaking water could reach your foundation and even pool beneath it.
- Soil composition: Soil with large sand or clay concentrations is highly expansive. In the heavy rainfall Brooklyn receives, the soil absorbs moisture like a sponge, then releases it in dry seasons. The constant expansion and contraction presses against nearby foundations, even if the foundations keep dry.
How to Choose the Best Foundation Repair Company
When choosing a foundation repair company, you should consider your personal priorities. Ask each contractor on your list about the following qualities.
Licensing and Experience
New York's state government doesn't issue contracting licenses, but cities often choose to require them of foundation companies and other builders. For example, New York City requires foundation and excavating contractors to obtain a "Safety Registration Number" with a concrete work endorsement. They also need to register as a general contractor or home improvement contractor. Talk to staff to gain additional insight into a company's experience. You should ask about local building codes, inspection processes and permit ordinances.
Another way to gauge a company's reputation is to examine its website. There, you can learn how long it's been in business and its trade qualifications. It might also share knowledge and insights through blog posts, podcasts, or videos.
When you're researching a company's reputation, visit its Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile. There, you can find its "letter grade" rating and a list of customer reviews, both complaints and positive experiences. Complaints don't mean a contractor is unreliable. BBB reviews show how the company addressed complaints. It's a good sign if the company has settled issues proactively and favorably. You should avoid a company with more negative reviews, no accreditation, and no communication regarding issues.
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Brooklyn Foundation Repair FAQ
How much does foundation repair cost in Brooklyn?
You could spend about $3,000 on materials and labor for your foundation project. Ultimately, your costs will depend on your specific needs and the extent of the foundation damage.
Can a foundation always be fixed?
If you spotted the issue through early warning signs like cracking walls, you'll likely not need a new foundation. Usually, replacement's only needed for severe, extensive damage.
What's the most popular foundation type in Brooklyn?
The most common foundation types in Brooklyn are slab foundations, basements, crawlspaces, and pile-and-beam assemblies. The specific type your property has will depend on local temperatures, soil quality, and flood risk.
What preventive measures can I take to avoid foundation issues?
You can take several preventive measures to minimize foundation issues:
- Make sure your home's gutters and downspouts are in good condition and direct water away from your foundation to prevent water accumulation.
- Irrigate the soil around your foundation consistently, especially during dry spells, to prevent expansion and shrinking.
- If possible, grade the soil around your home to slope away from your foundation, promoting water drainage and reducing the risk of foundation issues.
- Inspect your foundation for signs of damage, and repair any issues promptly.
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More Foundation Resources
U.S. Census Bureau (American Communities Survey)