If you’re worried about the integrity of your home’s foundation, knowing the common signs of damage can help you stay ahead of repairs. The foundation is critical to ensuring your home’s structure is safe and sound.
Small changes in your home, like cold drafts, doors getting stuck or interior wall cracks, could be signs that something is happening to the foundation.
Continue reading to learn how to know if your home’s foundation is damaged — and what you can do if it is.
Causes for Foundation Issues
Your home’s foundation can get damaged at any time. Some common causes for foundation issues include:
- The house settling over time.
- Soil surging under the home to compensate for settling in other areas.
- Water damage from pipe leaks or flooded basements.
- Deterioration of load-bearing walls.
- Poor drainage systems.
- Soil expanding and contracting.
5 Signs Your Home’s Foundation Is Damaged
Looking out for signs of foundational damage is critical to ensuring you can take care of the issues as soon as possible. You don’t want to wait until it’s too late to fix structural concerns that can affect your life from day to day.
Here are five signs to look for when you suspect your home’s foundation has some damage.
1. You See Interior and Exterior Cracks
If you think your house might have some foundational issues, start by looking for any long, zigzag or diagonal cracks that go up the wall of your home.
Cracks on your interior sheetrock or drywall that stem from your doors or windows can indicate the settlement shifting. While it’s common for small fissure cracks to occur a few years after a home is built, larger cracks can be a cause for concern.
If you see fractures inside your home, you should also check outside. Cracks are likely to appear on the exterior of your house if there’s a common foundational issue.
There are three types of foundation cracks — vertical, horizontal and diagonal. The type of cracks your home has can help you determine the extent of the damage you could be working with. Vertical foundation cracks are common and usually the least problematic. Diagonal cracks are a bit more worrisome because they often appear on a basement wall or the foundation itself. Horizontal cracks are the ones to look out for the most. They could indicate a severe structural integrity issue with your foundation and home.
2. The Surrounding Ground Is Sinking
Another sign your home’s foundation could have damage is if the ground is sinking around your house. The ground can start sinking because of excess water from leakage or drainage issues. The more the ground sinks, the more likely your foundation will shift.
3. Your Doors and Windows Jam or No Longer Latch
As cracks near doors and windows can indicate a foundation issue, so can a change in functionality. If you live in an area with seasonal weather, you know it’s normal for some doors to expand and contract based on the temperature.
When all your doors and windows get stuck or they no longer close properly, it could signal the foundation settling out of place. If the foundation sags, your house is no longer on even ground. That makes it difficult to open and close features that rely on a level surface.
4. The Floors Are Uneven and Bouncing
When your house is level, your floors will be, too. If you notice your floors are uneven or become bouncy when you walk on them, there could be an underlying issue. Too much movement of soil underneath the foundation can cause cracking. A cracking foundation can lead to cracks in tile floors with no explanation, so look out for that, too.
5. The Crawlspace or Basement Is Damp
Excessive moisture in your crawlspace or basement can also signify foundation issues. Water has probably entered your home if you notice an unpleasant odor or see mildew, mold or rot growing in your basement.
Water damage could affect your home’s foundation, especially if it’s concrete. Moisture seeping into the foundation’s pores can cause it to erode and crack, leading to other problems. To keep your home safe, it’s important to find the source of the damage and fix it as soon as possible.
What to Do When You Notice Foundation Issues
Check for the signs mentioned above whenever you suspect your home’s foundation is suffering. If there are small cracks, you can take preventive measures to seal them so they don’t continue to spread.
You can also strengthen the soil around your foundation. Make sure it isn’t too dry or wet. Consider foundation grading to help maintain the structure and keep water away.
For more advanced issues, it’s best to call a professional to check them out. You want to address foundational concerns as soon as possible to keep your home’s structural integrity intact.
Take Care of Your Home’s Foundation
As you can see, there are many signs to look for when distinguishing foundational issues, from the exterior and interior cracks to uneven floors and damp basements.
Taking care of your home’s foundation is crucial to ensuring you can live safely and comfortably in your house for a long time. When you understand the signs of foundational damage and what to do when it occurs at your residence, you can take steps to address it so you can live happily in your home.
Concerned a Home Has Structural Damage?
Call Axium’s Premier Structural Engineering Partner, Level Engineering, at 720-706-8540 or learn more at https://www.axiuminspections.com/structural-engineer/.