It’s not necessarily an obvious thing. It’s not like a leaky window frame or loose shingles on the roof.

But the foundation of your home, over time, deteriorates just like everything else. You might not see it, and it lasts much longer than a window or a roof, but it needs a facelift every 40 to 50 years. It needs to be dug up and waterproofed.

“Every concrete product has a shelf life,” says Pat Lecours, owner of Mr. Foundation. “Time eats away at it.”

When a foundation isn’t looked after, it can eventually lead to water infiltration, structural damage, settlement issues, and buckling walls.

Pat Lecours’ company will do a full on-site inspection to look for any structural or hidden problems.

If his experts find structural damage, they arrange for a further study by structural or soils engineers and, if needed, a building permit. Clients can do this on their own, but Pat says things move much more quickly when his company calls the specialists they use all the time.

“They [the engineers] look after us,” he says. “They’re there when we call.”

He encourages clients to get other quotes and to compare companies – especially their reputation for quality and – very important, he says – their scope of work.

He says it’s easy to get a lower quote, and then find out many steps were not included – only to cost a great deal more down the line.

“We call it the lowball snowball,” he says.

Another thing to consider is the size of the business. His company gives a transferrable warranty of 10 years on waterproofing, 20 years on structural. This means you have a certificate that you can hand over to the next owner of your home, and it will be honoured… even if the certificate gets lost.

Pat says this happens often, and if the company isn’t big enough or sophisticated enough to keep all the paperwork, the warranty could end up being useless.

“We file every bit of paperwork,” he says. “If you lose your warranty, we still have it.”

If it’s your time to have your foundation repaired, you’ll need to plan for new landscaping. It will be a mess, Pat warns. And when you’re finished, you won’t even see it.

But your house will know. And it will thank you for many years ahead.