What Does a Foundation Warranty Cover?
When comparing foundation repair companies, the foundation warranty is worth it’s important to remember that not all foundation warranties are created equally. Even in the same state, differences in coverage can vary dramatically.
Below are some of the most important questions you should ask prior to hiring a foundation repair service. Be sure to read the fine print of any contracts so you understand your rights.
Do Foundation Warranties Cover Workmanship and Materials?
In Ontario, it is very unusual to find foundation warranties that don’t fully cover you for parts and labor. And in most cases, these policies offer a lifetime, transferable protection.
But as with all things in life, the devil is in the details. You must carefully review the policy to understand what clauses might void the warranty. Below is a partial list of common clauses in foundation warranties:
Changes in Ownership. Most policies offer transferable, lifetime protection. However, changes in home ownership don’t automatically trigger changes in warranty protection. Most policies require contacting the foundation repair company within 30 days of the home title transfer. Otherwise, the policy becomes void.
Major Alterations. Thinking about adding a guest room to your home? Or perhaps a new garage? Read the fine print. Major structural changes can sometimes void foundation warranties. Even adding a backyard pool too close to your home’s exterior can trigger nullification.
Acts of God. Many warranties will not cover you for natural disasters, including earthquakes, fires, and floods. However, be wary of warranties that don’t cover soil erosion and displacement. These gradual, naturally occurring phenomena are the primary reasons why foundations fail in the first place. Warranties that don’t offer protection against soil problems are essentially useless.
Water Damage. Some policies cover water damage – provided you take proactive steps to maintain the area around your foundation. Be sure to select a foundation repair company that can provide guidance on proper landscaping and irrigation.
Responsiveness, Turnaround Times, and Cost
Assuming your foundation needs repairs (and you’re fully covered), what can you expect next?
Responsiveness. Filing a claim is pretty straightforward. Simply contact the foundation repair service and alert them to the problem. If the contractor disputes coverage, you can file a complaint with the firm’s licensing board.
Turnaround Times. A standard foundation repair job takes about 2 to 5 business days. But it really depends on the size of the home and the extent of the damage. And in major landslide areas it’s not uncommon for foundation repair teams to have a backlog of projects.
There should be no direct cost to you – the policyholder. A typical foundation warranty covers you for all materials and workmanship. However, there may be secondary costs if the contractor must access the foundation by cutting through finished interiors (i.e. a tiled basement wall).
Additional Considerations When Evaluating a Foundation Warranty
Reading policy after policy can be time-consuming – especially if you’re not used to scanning legalese. To help save time, we recommend that you only research foundation repair teams with proven track records. This means the contractor:
A warranty is only as strong as the company backing it. If a contractor goes under, your policy becomes worthless. This is why experience is so important. You want a foundation repair service that will be around for the foreseeable future.
Learn About Our Foundation Repair Warranties
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