Avoiding Foundation Problems in Your Builds
Structural warranty coverage is an essential tool that protects your business, your buyers, and their homes. However, the ultimate goal is to avoid having to use that coverage.
Here are some tips and best practices for avoiding foundation problems in your builds.
Get help from other experts
Foundations are complicated, especially when you have to contend with certain types of difficult soils (like clay) and other environmental factors. Getting help from outside experts can sometimes mean the difference between having to file a structural claim versus avoiding that scenario in the first place.
Soil engineers, also called geotechnical engineers, are a great place to start. They’ll investigate and analyze the soil on your building sites so that you know about any potential issues before construction begins. You might learn that the soil drains poorly or that expansive soils abound. These findings will help you create the best action plan going forward.
Structural engineers can also be helpful. They aren’t required for every building scenario, though you may want to keep a firm’s contact information handy. If you’ve already built a foundation and later suspect issues could arise, you’ll want to contact someone right away to see if there’s anything you can do.
Pay attention to building codes
All builders should comply with the International Residential Code (IRC) or an equally strict building code. The IRC is used throughout much of the U.S., though you can still follow many of the guidelines if your municipality uses different codes (so long as there isn’t a conflict).
The IRC provides sound guidance about building on various types of soil, and designing foundations to comply with IRC codes will drastically reduce the risk of future damage. As a result, it’s less likely you’ll have to file a structural claim.
Emphasize the importance of maintenance to buyers
Do your homeowners know that keeping the structural integrity of their home in tact requires regular maintenance? Many might be unaware, especially first-time homebuyers.
It’s up to you to explain the importance of foundation maintenance to your customers. Start with a short overview of how a house’s foundation works, and then suggest the following:
- Inspect drainage regularly, including downspouts, gutters, and whether water flows away from the home’s foundation.
- Monitor and measure any cracks that occur.
- Maintain a consistent moisture level around the home’s foundation.
- Keep an eye on large trees — their roots can damage foundations. They should also be watered regularly to help maintain soil moisture levels.
No builder wants to deal with structural damages in their builds, but Structural Warranties can protect builders like you, and your buyers, from potentially devastating structural problems. Learn more about 2-10 HBW’s Structural Warranties and how they can help your business.