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On the outside corner of my house next to the garage door, there is a side door. Around the base of the side door and right at the outside corner, there is "missing" concrete foundation. Like, there's cracks but also actual voids. The brick facade at the front is dipping down ever so slightly. On the inside I tore out some very compromised drywall and the baseboard, behind which was some nuts etc. and the concrete level is lower inside the wall than the garage floor. Recently, I saw a chipmunk squeeze his fat little ass up and under the bottom cedar shingle. Upon investigation, whatever material bridging the gap between the front brick and side structure material (studs I guess?) Is also disappearing away. The drywall issue did seem to be water damage from worn out/insufficient garage door weather stripping. I'm unfamiliar with chipmunks so I'm not sure how much the rest of the damage is caused by them or if they're just taking advantage of the crumbling.

Basically, I'm not sure who to call to fix this. Someone/s who can work with foundation/concrete, siding/exterior, possibly framing if the side door is part of the problem, then I would probably just have it removed (we don't use it).

Even though the issue seems pretty small overall, it's too complicated for me to trust a handyman-type or figure it out myself.

Should I call my homeowners insurance? Do you think they'd cover it or know what to do?

I did replace and add weather stripping when I noticed the drywall dampness.

exterior: exterior

brick facade: brick facade

behind brick facade: behind brick facade

interior side door: interior side door

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    Pictures of the impacted area would really help give more educated answers/suggestions.
    – Milwrdfan
    Commented May 17 at 18:13
  • In the first picture, with the blue panel, if you look into the hole under the rotted door post, is there nothing supporting the slab under the door? In the second picture are those bricks, especially the one on the right, touching the ground? What's holding them up?
    – jay613
    Commented May 17 at 21:25

1 Answer 1

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Updated after the first round of photos added: Is the affected area the lowest area in the locale, and does water pond there (or used to before the hole appeared)? If so the first step would be water management. Perhaps some additional photos of the surrounding area could help. Does the region you live in go below freezing at times, causing freeze/thaw damage from water? In the first photo, could the area below the 'blue panel' (looks like cedar siding) be missing another piece of siding, that soaked up water and decayed? If so the siding that is present would have a gap behind it where the missing piece underlayed, and you could fill that in with a strip of cedar so the existing panel will lay and be supported as intended. I would not replace the missing panel down to the ground, there needs to be a vertical gap from ground or ponding water to any non-metal siding, or it will wick up water, and wet the wall behind it.

Make sure your bottom cedar siding is good, and tight (not loose); what it nails to might be compromised. If the wall degradation is severe, you may need to replace some of the studs or sheathing. A handyman who can address all of these issues might be your best bet. Get a quote or few.

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    Insurance might not even cover it since it might fall under normal home maintenance.
    – crip659
    Commented May 17 at 18:00
  • I worry that "missing foundation", "dipping facade", and "compromised drywall" all point to water damage and/or localized subsidence and could be structural. Hopefully none of this but patching without understanding is probably not a good first step. Rule out these problems, then this is a good answer.
    – jay613
    Commented May 17 at 19:18
  • @jay613 who to call that can identify & fix subsidence?
    – Freeboot
    Commented May 17 at 21:25
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    Don't assume subsidence just from my internet diagnosis. Start with an experienced builder or general contractor. Repair is usually by specialized companies, led by a general contractor. The extent of the work depends on the cause of the subsidence, the size of the structure and the extent of damage. If the footings are generally good and there's just something very localized related to water damage, any framer/builder ought to be able to repair it.
    – jay613
    Commented May 17 at 21:30

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