Foundation damage is never good but can be lessened if the problem is detected at its onset. Here are some of the most common tell-tale signs of a bad foundation and what do if you notice them in your home:
#1) Wall Cracks and Fractures
As a house settles in its early years, it’s common for tiny hairline cracks (approximately 1/16” in size) to develop in the foundation or on the brick exterior of your home.
Although wall cracks that run vertically aren’t usually an issue, large cracks and horizontal cracks are a particular cause for concern. These problematic cracks are serious and indicate that your home’s foundation is either under a lot of pressure or there is excessive settling occurring. Soil expansion and contraction, inclement weather and improper building, can often be to blame for foundation crack problems.
Problematic fractures that occur in brick exteriors are usually located near the corner of exteriors and run vertically. Bricks that protrude from the wall could also indicate a foundation problem. Sometimes, fractures don’t indicate foundation damage; however, it’s still best to get them examined by a foundation expert.
#2) Foundation Settling or Sinking
Poor construction techniques involving improperly compacted soils are often to blame for foundation movement. When a foundation becomes increasingly out of level, a sinking or settlement issue may be the cause. Although less likely, your home may have been built on a sinkhole.
Uneven sinking that starts small can quickly settle into the earth two to four inches. Contact a foundation repair contractor to help avoid foundation failure, danger and costly damage.
#3) Foundation Upheaval
Concrete slab foundations that move in upward directions are undergoing foundation upheaval. This type of damage is commonly caused by excessive moisture from rain or under-slab plumbing leaks or soil expansion. A home built on clay soil is more at risk due to the soil’s ability to hold moisture.
Frost is another common cause due to the added pressure it creates on a foundation.
Although foundation upheaval can result in a foundation moving as much as 1.5 – 2.5 inches, severe damage can be caused by even small amounts of foundation upheaval.
#4) Noticeable Interior Separation
A small amount of unevenness is going to happen as a home ages. However, there are many signs inside your home that could indicate that a larger foundation issue is to blame. They include:
- Wallpaper pulling away from the wall
- Cracks where the ceiling and wall meet
- Gaps around window frames or exterior doors
- Damp crawl spaces
- Kitchen cabinets and countertops separating from walls
- Nails extending from drywall
- Tile cracks
- Doors that begin to jam or fail to latch
- Sagging or uneven floors
If you notice any foundation damage inside or outside your home, call in a foundation professional right away.
Left unrepaired, foundation damage can lead to big issues, including jeopardizing the stability of your home.