Hello. I posted on here a couple of years ago about how the hurricane rains of 2004 in Florida led me to believe that our home, especially our garage area, was having a foundation settlement problem. I could not honestly say when the cracks first appeared, but that was when I first noticed them, including a diagonal one through the grade beam with one side of the crack slightly higher than the other – a matching pair at the front of the garage; one of each side. Our pest control guy told us he sees this a lot in Florida.
Unfortunately, the home did not have gutters and the grading was questionable in a few areas [we just didn’t know what we were suppose to know :(]. The rain just pooooured off the roof near our front porch right next to the foundation beyond the 12 inch eave and beside one of the main garage walls. Most homes in this area do not have any gutters on them.
Since then, we installed gutters and improved the grading as best we could, patched the cracked stucco and repainted our home, but I am concerned that I am seeing slight new movement again, as I believe the cracks on the interior side of the two main garage walls are slightly bigger. There is also a vertical one that comes up smack dab in the center of where two walls join, as if it’s coming up from the footer.
My dilemma is we owe $150K on what’s estimated to be a $220K home, minus damage. We do NOT have any way of paying for foundation-related repairs and likely would have no way of knowing if the repairs would work, so I am considering whether I should call a company that buys homes fast, even though I hate to lose our equity and have absolutely NO idea how we could afford another home anytime soon, given the raised property taxes and insurance we would face, plus the rising price in homes. And the thought of uprooting our children from their schools, moving, etc. makes me feel somewhat ill.
I am starting to feel anxiety over this, and I am absolutely lost as to what to do. I know I can call foundation people for inspections and estimates, but our budget is jam packed and I worry that they could actually make the situation worse.
I don’t see a lot of evidence of foundation settlement in our home’s interior, and the windows and doors do not stick. There are signs though, such as the caulking around counter tops and cabinets that has cracked, slight baseboard and door trim separations in some areas, etc.
Does anyone here know if it would be of any conceivable value to have a company buy our home, assuming they would or how much they would offer? Will the foundation continue to move? I have read it can take up to five years before the movement stops. I don’t think our home is having any safety issues, but this is turning me into a nervous wreck!
I apologize if this message is bothersome to anyone here. I just feel lost, given such limited options and none of them are ideal.
Thank you for your time. Diana