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Signs of Foundation Problems

Whether you have lived in your home for years or are in the process of buying a new house, it is important that homeowners understand how to recognize the signs of foundation problems.

The foundation of your home is the most important part of the structure. It supports the walls, floor, windows, doors and roof. Any failure to the foundation can work its way up into the rest of the structure. It is important to recognize any foundation problems early and be proactive with repairs. Minor foundation problems left untreated can become a major structural problem in the future.

Regardless of whether your foundation is a slab on grade, basement, crawlspace or post and beam, foundation problems can create issues throughout your entire home.

Fortunately, with regular visual inspections and being aware of what to look for you can stop foundation movement and prevent further structural damage.

Regularly inspect your foundation for cracks. Hairline cracks are typical in concrete. Note the location, length and width of any hairline foundation crack and monitor any changes. Any foundation crack that changes, shifts or widens is a sign that the foundation is moving.

Foundation crack
Typical hairline crack in foundation

If water, mold or a musty smell is coming from your basement or crawlspace, water intrusion could be posing a threat to your foundation. Water may be entering your foundation through cracks, the cold joint between the footing and wall or ground water. Water intrusion in basements and crawlspaces can cause structural damage to your home due to the oversaturation of soils. This damage can be caused to the exterior foundation of the home, the interior footings or both.

Uneven or sagging floors can also be an indicator of a foundation problem. Settling of the exterior foundation footings or the interior pony walls or support posts will cause unevenness in floors in the living space of your home. Other signs on the floor to watch for are, cracked tile or flooring, squeaky floors or bouncing floor boards.

Interior cracks should also be closely monitored. Cracks in the walls, ceilings or around doors and windows are indicators of house movement and foundation problems. Any leaning or bowed walls should be immediately addressed as this is a sign of major structural shifting in the home.

Interior signs of foundation problem
Sheetrock and trim damage from settling foundation

All doors and windows should close easily and tightly. Doors and windows that do not line up in the frame will be hard to close or stick when opening and may indicate that the home is settling.

On the exterior of the home cracks in bricks, masonry, siding or trim should be closely monitored. Most cracks in homes are a sign of a settling foundation.

Cracked masonry brick foundation settling
Cracked brick due to foundation problem

In most cases, if caught early repairs can be made to the foundation that will prevent more costly repairs in the future. It is also important that measures are taken to prevent recurring damage. Please see our article on preventing foundation damage for more information.

For more information or a free quote, please contact Redco today.

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