Some home maintenance issues are obvious and require immediate attention, such as broken water lines and leaky roofs. Other problems aren’t as obvious and may be tempting to ignore. For instance, take foundation issues on the house. Even though the structural integrity of your home depends on the strength of your foundation, you might not have paid as much attention to it as you should have. With that in mind, here are five early signs of foundation issues.
1. Sinking Floors Due to Foundation Problems
One of the most obvious signs of foundation issues is sinking floors. This is different from the settling that most homes experience. Settling occurs over several years and is relatively minor. On the other hand, sinking floors can cause significant damage. To check for foundation problems caused by sinking floors, walk around your home and inspect the foundation and ground.
If the ground adjacent to your foundation appears lower than previously, your foundation could be sinking. This could be due to the ground not being compacted properly when your home was built or other issues, such as improper water drainage. If you spot any sinking foundation signs, you should contact an expert immediately for a foundation inspection. If you ignore these signs of foundation issues, your home could suffer severe damage.
2. Wall Cracks That Indicate a Bad Foundation
Foundation issues in a house will often cause cracks in interior and exterior walls. Vertical cracks in walls are usually associated with settling and are not a significant issue in most cases. However, horizontal cracks in drywall and concrete walls are a pretty good indication of foundation damage.
Cracks that run diagonally across your wall like stair steps also indicate that you may have foundation issues. You should also be on the lookout for extensive cracks, multiple cracks in walls throughout your home, and large cracks around the corners of your door frames. Any of those could be signs of foundation problems.
3. Doors and Windows That Don’t Fit Properly
Doors and windows that don’t fit or open and close properly may be another sign of foundation damage. It may be almost impossible to latch a door or window securely in some cases. Once closed, they may spring back open. Interior doors tend to stick at the top, and exterior doors generally drag at the bottom. Either of those could be because the walls have shifted, which causes the door and window frames to be out of alignment.
Another sign is significant gaps over and under doors and windows. You may also notice that one side of a door is higher than the other. In some cases, doors and windows will squeak loudly when opened and closed because the door and window casings are skewed.
4. Uneven Floors Caused by Foundation Problems
Uneven floors are another indication that you may have a faulty foundation. In addition to being tilted, your floors could also be sagging or bowed. When that is the case, your floors may squeak when you walk across them. Sometimes the experience of a foundation expert is required to determine if an uneven floor is due to foundation problems. That is because floors behave differently over slabs and crawl spaces. An uneven floor is a safety hazard for older adults and those with disabilities and should be investigated and repaired as soon as possible.
5. A Damp Crawl Space
A damp crawl space may also indicate a bad foundation. When a home with a crawl space is constructed, architects and contractors design drainage systems to take excess moisture away from the house and ensure that the crawl space stays dry. When a crawl space becomes wet, it may signify a problem with the foundation or with the foundation’s drainage system.
It’s essential to keep a crawl space dry so that the wooden beams and floor joists do not rot and avoid termite infestation. If you notice standing water in or around your crawl space, some measures can be taken to eliminate it and dry out your crawl space, such as French drains and polyethylene vapor barriers.
Middle Tennessee’s Foundation Repair Experts
Home foundation issues should be addressed and rectified as soon as they are discovered. Ignoring problems will only lead to trouble and additional expense.
Ground Up Foundation Repair is the foundation expert of Middle Tennessee. We’ll send an expert to your home to survey the condition of your home’s foundation and discuss any repairs that might be necessary. Contact us today if you have noticed any early signs of foundation issues.