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Foundation Problems With Your Home In Philadelphia: Causes and Advice

The foundation of your home is arguably the most important part of your home’s construction.  Even though it is out of view for the most part, literally everything else rests on that foundation.  A bad foundation can lead to so many other problems with the house that it can even be unsafe to live in. If you have been told you have a faulty foundation by an inspector or are seeing the tale-tale signs of a bad foundation, selling your home in a conventional way can be a major issue. However, you may have options, so read on.


For a variety of causes, foundations might develop issues. Some of the most frequent causes of foundation issues are inappropriate water drainage, the installation of concrete or cement block walls on shaky or poorly compacted soil, improper concrete mixing, and the wrong pouring of concrete during extremely cold weather.

The Experts at Robson Forensics with an office in Lancaster, Pa note that any of the following construction activities close to your house can cause foundation issues for your home:

  • Blasting
  • Pile driving
  • Compaction / dynamic compaction
  • Jackhammering / chiseling
  • Vibrofloatation
  • Pavement breakers
  • Demolition
  • Trenching activities
  • Heavy vehicle traffic

If you believe that your foundation problems have been caused by construction close to your home, there may be legal recourse for the damage.

Water Is Often A Major Culprit

For homes that have a long history of a solid foundation, but are now suddenly exhibiting foundation concerns, water troubles might be by far the biggest problem. Gutters that have not been cleared of leaves and other debris can overflow and over time cause excess water to drain right around the foundation. This drainage can weaken the soil strength and cause foundation problems and leakage in your crawlspace of basement. A change in improper landscaping can also cause drainage problems. Perhaps a pool was installed, or new underground pipes and the movement of dirt was not carefully repositioned to drain away from the house. Water can also freeze causing damage in the colder months to your walls. Whatever the reason, excess water can quickly damage a foundation and cause thousands of dollars of damage.

Foundation Issues Can Cause Many Problems in Your Home
717 Home Buyers Buy Homes in Philadelphia with Foundation Problems for Cash


Every foundation has a propensity to shift. A few inches of foundation settling are typical and usually not a cause for concern because of the weight and soil/dirt composition nearby. Small gaps in the concrete of the garage, basement floors, and foundation walls are frequently caused by this type of ordinary settling. When selling a property, you should take general note of any tiny cracks you notice in and around the previously mentioned places. However, if the cracks persist for a considerable amount of time, you may not need to call in an expert to assess the situation. You should absolutely have your foundation assessed by a structural engineer if the settlement fractures expand over time or the basement or foundation walls start to lean or bow inward. You should keep an eye out for indicators of sagging in cement block foundations, as well as stair step cracking, cracked/broken blocks, and water seeping through the wall.

The Tricky Issues With Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage

By all means, if you have foundation problems, check your policy. A quick call to your agent can not hurt. However, most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover foundation repairs, depending on the type of damage. If the foundation damage was caused by a covered natural disaster, it might be feasible to obtain insurance coverage for foundation repair. So, if a tornado demolished your home and the foundation was also damaged, your insurance company may be able to pay for the repair. However, you won’t often be able to get insurance to assist you to pay for any repairs for the majority of foundations where the problem is settling or the foundation failing due to faulty installation or poor conditions around the foundation. As with any insurance policy, make sure to read the fine print and ask any questions you may have of your insurance agent to determine what is actually covered.

Get Advice From A Structural Engineer

You should speak with a certified structural engineer rather than any foundation contractor to acquire a repair estimate. Find a structural engineer whose sole responsibility it is to evaluate your foundation and give you a repair plan. The use of a structural engineer could result in financial savings because their objective is to offer you advice rather than sell you foundation repair services. Even though not all foundation repair companies are out to get you, it doesn’t mean they won’t occasionally recommend pricey fixes without first determining the true cause of the foundation’s problems. A structural engineer will examine your foundation, provide you with a report outlining the problems, and suggest or design a fix to help with those foundation problems. Instead of getting varying viewpoints on what is required and varying estimates, you can talk to various foundation repair firms using the engineer’s report and ask for work estimates based on the proposed repair solution for your foundation.

Can I Skip The Repairs And Sell My Home With Foundation Defects?

If you must sell your house despite the current foundation problems, always be transparent and set your asking price accordingly. When foundation problems are revealed during a home inspection, the buyer may decide not to proceed with the purchase because they question what else may be wrong with the house that hasn’t been mentioned or what else may not have been disclosed. Unrepaired foundation problems are a significant component in a house’s structural stability, thus many buyers who learn about hidden foundation problems opt to back out. If the house is fairly priced and all relevant information is provided, someone will buy your house and decide to take care of the foundation problems.

Do Not Hide The Foundation Problems When Selling Your Home

When buyers learn after purchasing that you knew about foundation flaws, a lawsuit may follow if you failed to disclose them. If you are sued for failing to disclose foundation problems, the court may order you to refund the buyer’s money in addition to ordering you to pay punitive damages for your negligence. As an alternative, a judge can order you to pay the buyer’s foundation repair costs as well as punitive damages to the buyers. The best course of action is to let potential buyers know about foundation problems.

The greatest solution for your foundation problems is to fix them if you have the resources to do so. Buyers are more likely to consider your house if they know that any foundation issues have been correctly fixed and that even the repairs might be backed by a lifetime warranty. By fixing the foundation problems, you will also be able to sell your home for a higher price because a home with foundation problems that is being sold as-is will only appeal to buyers who are seeking for a great deal and are aware that foundation problems can be fixed for a reasonable price.

Sell Your House With Foundation Problems As-Is For Cash

If you need to sell you home with foundation problems quickly in Philadelphia, but do not have time or money to invest in dealing with the problem, there is another possible solution you should check.  Call us at 717 Home Buyers. We specialize in helping homeowners in situations just like this.

We will have one of our professional team members assess your home and it is likely that we can offer you a cash purchase with no repairs, insurance claims, inspections or extra fees.  If we make you a cash offer and you accept, we can often close the deal with the title company in as little as a week.

You can learn more about our methods of operation and check out our outstanding reputation. If you are tired of dealing with foundation problems in Philadelphia and want another option, give us a call today at 717-639-2164.

About Josh Eberly

A native of Lancaster County, Josh’s roots run deep in his commitment to this community. He especially enjoys helping people find solutions through real estate. Josh is a seasoned investor with experience in many sides of buying and investing in real estate. Josh enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, digital marketing, and hanging out with his family. Feel free to connect with him here.

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