If your home has foundation problems, you should take care of them right away. Not fixing your foundation can lead to cracked walls, water damage, mold, and needing major foundation repairs.
How do you know if your home needs foundation repairs? Keep reading for 12 signs of foundation problems.
One of the first signs that your home has foundation issues is exterior cracks on the outside of your foundation.
If you notice that your house has small, tiny cracks in the foundation, they should be nothing to worry about. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t grow over time.
On the other hand, if your home has large cracks in a stair-step pattern, that is a sign of foundation issues. If you have a brick foundation, cracked or bulging bricks are cause for concern.
In addition to exterior cracks, you also need to watch for interior cracks. If you notice cracks in your drywall, you more than likely have foundation problems.
Other causes of drywall cracks include water damage and seasonal temperature changes. To know for sure what is causing your drywall cracks, have a professional come out and look at the damage.
When you build a new house, it is not uncommon for it to settle into the ground. How do you distinguish between house settling vs. foundation problems? The best way to tell for sure is to have a foundation contractor access the situation.
If the house is settling into the foundation, one part of it may settle before the rest. Eventually, the house should even out. Even if the house balances out, the moisture levels in the foundation may differ.
Having different amounts of moisture in the foundation can result in other problems, such as rotting, mold, and cracking.
If the house sinking is due to foundation issues, you may notice that the sinking starts small at first and then grows over time. Once you notice the house sinking, you may start having other problems, such as cracks, uneven floors, or cabinets separating from the wall.
If you notice even a small amount of foundation sinking, don’t put off the repairs. If you do, your foundation issues will get more serious and expensive.
Like a sinking foundation, you may also notice your foundation rising if there are foundation problems. This issue is referred to as foundation upheaval.
Some of the main causes of a rising foundation are soil under the foundation expanding, moisture getting under the foundation, frost, or plumbing leaks. If you think a plumbing leak is to blame, check your water bill to see if you are using a larger amount of water.
Another thing to watch out for is frost. When frost occurs, the ground will expand. This can cause your foundation to lift.
If frost continues to cause foundation upheaval, it may cause problems in the foundation.
Have you noticed that your doors are out of alignment? Are you having a difficult time opening and closing them? If so, foundation problems could be to blame.
When your home’s foundation shifts, the doors may shift with it. If one side of the door is slightly higher than the other side, they will stick and you will have a hard time opening them.
While foundation problems are most like the cause of doors being out of alignment, the problem also could stem from high humidity.
If you live in an area with high humidity and it has been raining for the past couple of days, wait until the rain stops to see if you still have the problem.
If the doors are still difficult to open, you should watch for other signs of foundation problems and have an expert check the doors.
Uneven floors are another sign that you are having foundation problems. If your foundation is made from beams, the floor may be uneven or sag if there are problems with the beams. Beam issues happen when the foundation sinks, rises, shifts, or rots.
With concrete foundations, you may notice that your floor is uneven if the home has shifted. Whether you have a beam foundation or a concrete foundation, you will want to fix the damage immediately.
Uneven floors may seem like no big deal at first, but over time they can become dangerous. If children or elderly people are living in the home, they are more likely to trip on an uneven floor.
Are your window and door frames separating from the wall? If so, there is something wrong with your foundation. When there are foundation problems, there may be large gaps between your frames and the wall.
If the problem gets too bad, your door may no longer latch because it is so far away from the wall. Do you have any double doors in your home?
If so, check them to see if they are still aligned. If they are not, you may need foundation repair.
If your home has a crawl space, go check to see if it is damp or smells musty. Another sign of potential foundation problems is a moist crawl space. When beams are not aligned as they should be, it gives water the chance to enter crawl spaces.
Having too much moisture in your crawl space leads to beam rotting. If the foundation beams rot, you will have bigger and more expensive problems. Rotting beams often attract termites that get into the rest of your home.
Even if it doesn’t seem like your beams are rotting, you still should stop the moisture immediately. Moisture in homes leads to mold and mildew. Mold can cause skin irritation, sneezing, runny nose, and create a bad smell if not taken care of.
To stop moisture from entering your home, make sure you don’t have any standing water near your foundation. Standing water will seep into your home and cause problems. Water should always drain away from the foundation.
Some of the best ways to prevent water damage are by creating a slope away from your foundation, making sure your gutters are clear and effective at removing water, and crawl space encapsulation.
Like with door and window frames, gaps will form between your cabinets and the wall when there are foundation problems. When the problem first starts, you may notice that your kitchen cabinets look slightly off.
As time goes on, a gap will form between the wall and your cabinets. While this gap may start small, it will continue to grow if there are foundation problems. The faster you fix it, the less extensive the repairs will be.
It is not uncommon for nails to come out of the wall from time to time. If you have a nail come out of the wall, it should be no big deal. Just hammer the nail back into the wall.
If all your nails are popping out of the wall, that is a sign of a problem. When the drywall in your home shifts, nails may move and come out of the wall. If you notice this happening, check for cracks on the inside and outside of your home.
Go outside and take a look at your chimney. Is it leaning? If it is, it could be a sign that your foundation is failing.
One of the best ways to tell if your chimney is leaning is by looking at its placement along the side of your home. If you notice space between the exterior of your house and the chimney, it is leaning.
A leaning chimney happens when your foundation sinks, raises, or shifts. Like with many other types of foundation issues, a leaning chimney can lead to water damage and mold if not fixed.
If you have tiles in your bathroom, kitchen, or any other part of your home, check to see if they are cracked. When tile floors are uneven or sink, the tiles may crack because they are fragile.
If you notice that tiles are cracking, have a foundation contractor access the situation. If you don’t fix the problem, you will need foundation repairs and tile repairs.
Foundation problems can range from small fixes to a complete foundation replacement. If you have any of these signs of foundation issues, you should have the situation evaluated immediately. Putting it off will only make the problem worse.
Do you believe your home may need foundation repair? If so, check out our foundation repair services to get your free estimate today!