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Glaring Signs of a Foundation Problem

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Foundation issues can quickly turn costly if you do not address these problems immediately. On average, foundation fixes costs tens of thousands of dollars. To save yourself from the headache of dealing with expensive repairs, always keep an eye out for early signs of foundation problems:

Hairline Cracks and Signs of Crumbling

Always inspect your foundation and look out for hairline cracks, signs of crumbling, as well as gaps and ruptures. These are all signs of structural damage. In addition, you want to check for water pooling, molds or moisture stains. You can inspect your foundation in the basement or along the exterior surface of the foundation itself.

Water Damage

One of the most common causes of foundation problems is water damage. This is caused by improper water drainage. When water is pouring near the foundation, the surrounding soil starts to erode and/or expand. When the soil is exposed to moisture, it will contract and expand, leading to soil shifting. The entire process puts an enormous pressure on the structure’s foundation, causing cracking and weakening.

To check for water damage, inspect the surrounding soil around the property. Is the soil unnaturally wet or unusually dry? If the answer is yes, there could be potential moisture buildup. Apart from inspecting the parameters of the foundation, you want to check how your drainage system is holding up. Make quick repairs if there are leaks or if the system is not moving the water away from the foundation.

Sagging Floors and Altered Ceilings

Other telltale signs of foundation issues are the state of the floors and ceilings. If say, the ceilings are starting to curl or develop a warped shape or the floors are starting to sag, then it is a clear sign of a foundation problem. You can use a level tool or even a tennis ball to check the minute gradients of the floor. The tennis ball should not move when you place it anywhere on the floor. If it does, that’s a sign of sagging.

Crumbling Walls

Although any structure settles with time, the “give” should not cause crumbly or buckling walls. The excessive crumbling of the walls is a sign of foundation failure. If you see fissures, warps and cracks all over the walls, then that’s a sign that the foundation is compromised. Check the pillar, joints, corners, and chimneys of crumbling, decay, and water damage. A sound structure should have straight and flush walls.

Altered Door and Window Fitting

Are the doors suddenly fitting too snugly in their respective frames? Can hardly open the windows because of the altered fitting? This too is a sign of a compromised foundation. Unfortunately, poorly fitting doors and windows are not commonly associated with foundation issues. To be sure, hire an inspector to check the problem. If say, the tight-fitting doors and windows are not caused by foundation failure, have them repaired just the same. Improperly fitting doors and windows waste a ton of energy. You will save hundreds of dollars on utility costs by fixing these issues.

Apart from checking the indoor doors and windows, you want to inspect the garage doors, HVAC vents, and attic windows too.

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