Foundation Repair or Roof Repair – What to Do First?

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Both the foundation and roof of your house play a significant role in maintaining its stability and resilience. A sound foundation catalyzes preserving your home’s longevity. Likewise, the roof of your house serves as a shelter for the inhabitants of your home and their belongings. Together, the roof and foundation of your house serve as its cover and base. Any impairment to these structures can lead to severe problems in other structures of your home. Therefore, foundation repair and roof repair must be done as soon as possible to avoid long-term issues.

But the question is: “If the foundation and roof are both damaged, what should you repair first?”

The answer to this question is to fix your home’s foundation first, and this blog will help you understand why.

Foundation Repair or Roof Repair

Foundation problems cause roof damage

The stability and durability of your home relies on the moisture level of the soil surrounding it. Expanding or compressing soil can cause the foundation to shift. A shifting foundation can cause your entire property to move. The movement moves up from walls towards the roof, ultimately damaging it too. In other words, neglecting foundation issues for too long can cause roof damage, too. Then, you have to spend money on two projects: foundation repair and roof repair.

Have a look at some foundation problems that, if left unaddressed, can direct to roof damage.

Cracked Walls

As explained earlier, soil movement can shift the foundation of your house. Cracks are common to appear in shifting foundations. Too much movement means too many cracks, and these cracks can ultimately affect the roof as well. Different types of cracks can appear in the foundation walls. However, horizontal cracks are the ones that need serious attention as they can lead to a bowing foundation.

Settling Foundation

Settling or heaving of the ground can cause your foundation to move. Do not ignore:

  • Tilting chimneys.
  • Cracking walls.
  • Jamming doors.

Aloof, these indicate that your foundation is having serious problems. Poor quality of soil surrounding your home can damage its foundation. Expansive soils absorb moisture in wet seasons and put stress on the foundation walls, causing them to crack. Cracked foundations consequently damage the roof.

Sloping Floor

Soil movement causes the foundation floors to slope or tilt over time, making them uneven. Unleveled foundation floors can damage the entire structure of your property and, obviously, its roof, too. Check the sloping floors simply by placing a tennis ball over it. If the ball moves, the floor is uneven. Self-opening or self-closing doors also indicate that foundation floors have tilted.


The water surrounding your house can undercut or wash out the soil surrounding it. As a result, the foundation becomes weak because the soil that is supporting your foundation is no longer there. The main culprit, water can accumulate due to poor drainage. Poor drainage includes:

  • Broken water line.
  • A stream or river near the foundation.
  • Broken sewerage line.

This water majorly affects expansive soils like clay, thereby damaging the foundations surrounding them. Foundation damage, when serious, can also damage the roof.

Growing Roots

It is a common misconception that rubbing tree branches can damage your roof. But if you dig down, you will find out the problem lies deep in the roots. The roots of trees surrounding your house can expand three times the radius of its canopy. These growing tree roots absorb moisture from the surrounding soil, causing it to compress. The compacting soil, again, leads to foundation shifting. A shifting foundation damages the roof of your house, too. Therefore, if you see a sagging roof, immediately consult trained professionals and get your house inspected thoroughly. 

Foundation Repair or Roof Repair: What comes first?

We recommend that if both the foundation and roof of your house are damaged, get your foundation repaired first. The reason is that the foundation shifts to a new position after the repair. Too much movement or shift in the foundation can eventually cause roof shingles to shift, too. Therefore, if the roof has already been repaired, you will need to repair it again after repairing the foundation. Therefore, first, repair the foundation, and then pay heed to fixing your roof. Another option is to hire both foundation and roof repair experts. Ask them to come up with a combined plan to fix the problems in both structures. 

Are you still wondering what to get repaired first? The roof or the foundation? Well, the final decision lies on various factors like:

  • The severity of the Problem: Determine the complexity of problems encountered by your roof and foundation. Prioritize the repair of the structure facing more severe issues.
  • Budget Constraints: If you have a restricted budget and can only get one of both repaired, repair the one that is more harmful to your home’s stability.
  • Temporary Repair: If one can be fixed with temporary repairs, manage one this way and hire professionals to seek permanent solutions for the other. You can later get the other one repaired, too.
  • The region you’re living in: If you’re residing in a region inclined to heavy rainfall or snow, we suggest you get your roof repaired first to avoid further water damage.


Sometimes, water damage or some other problems can impair both the roof and the foundation of your house. This situation can leave you in a confused state, wondering what to get repaired first. The answer to your confusion is to get your foundation repaired first. Because foundation damage can worsen roof damage too, various problems in your foundation like cracked walls, tilted floors, settling foundation, soil movement, water damage, or growing tree roots can damage your roof as well. However, you can base your final decision based on factors like the severity of the problem, budget, temporary fixes, and determining which structure is more prone to water damage.

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