The foundation is one of the most important component of any structure. Naturally, it is common over time for a foundation to develop problems that warrant repair. The majority of foundation issues are caused by changing weather conditions and soil expansion/contraction occurring beneath it. Foundation issues can also be caused by other factors like plumbing leakage and poor foundation drainage systems. You might now be wondering about the condition of your own foundation. So here are five recognizable signs that your foundation needs some special attention provided by Jim Oursler from Granite Foundation Repair, a professional foundation repair company servicing DFW area.
1. Foundation Sinking
It is normal for your home’s foundation to shift during the first couple of years following its construction. However, if you notice that your house is sinking, it’s time to contact a professional for evaluation. Signs of foundation sinking include the following:
- A particular part of your home is sinking, such as the center or one side – your home may require installation of foundation piers to correct the issue
- Vertical cracks in your foundation
Oftentimes, this is a sign of foundation settling. What starts as a tiny 1/2” dip in one partof your home can develop to become a serious issue. Without being addressed, yourhouse could sink by up to 4” into the earth. If you house appears to be sinking or having settlement issues, have it checked out.
2. Foundation Upheaval
Foundation upheaval is the opposite of foundation sinking. If you notice that your home’s foundation is moving in an upward direction, it is likely experiencing foundation upheaval. This problem is typically due to soil expansion/contraction occurring beneath the foundation. Soil is heavily affected by moisture, and it can drastically change its composition. Oftentimes, frost and freezing temperatures can induce changes in soil distribution as well.
If you notice small bumps on the floors at home, it may be time to call the experts. This is often a sign of foundation upheaval. There are many causes of foundation upheaval in slab foundations including soil that expands and contracts and excessive soilmoisture. Heaving generally affects the perimeter area of a concrete slab foundation. If it hasmoved in an upward direction, it’s experiencing foundation upheaval.
3. Gaps in Windows and Door
If you notice gaps developing around your exterior windows and/or doors, you should immediately check your foundation for signs of any problems and seek a professional’s opinion. You may even notice door misalignment or doors that won’t latch anymore. Sometimes foundation issues can even deform door frames and eventually walls if the problem isn’t addressed. These are all signs that are likely symptomatic of foundation issues. Although sometimes it might also be caused by moisture.Sometimes doors stick and don’t open and close properly due to humidity (75-100%).This usually occurs a couple of days following severe flooding or heavy rain. However, ifthe problem persists even after humidity levels have dropped, it’s likely your foundationis the culprit.Usually, you may also start to notice foundation cracks or other sorts of fractures in andaround your home.
4. Uneven Flooring
If you notice that your floor is no longer level, seems to be sagging or bowing, your foundation might be experiencing foundation problems. This could be due to foundation issues like settling of support columns and waterproofing issues that have damaged the foundation of the building. If your foundation is moving, it is definitely in your structure’s best interest to repair the foundation issue as soon as possible. Apart from being incredibly annoying, not to mention hazardous, uneven flooring is most likely indicative of foundational damage. This could be a sign that your foundation has damage to the pier and beam structures.
5. Counters and/or Cupboards Separation from the Walls
Are there gaps between your countertops and/or cupboards and the wall? Does it seem like your cupboards are tilting away from the wall? Before you question your kids or blame your spouse, you might first want to take a look at your foundation’s health. Separation of cupboards from the wall could actually be indicative of foundation upheaval or other foundational problems. When walls aren’t level, cabinets and lots of other things in your house cease to be level,too. If you become aware of something like this, it’s definitely a sign of foundationdamage. At first it may look like they’ve moved a tiny bit. But before long, what could’ve startedas a 1/8” gap could grow to a1/2” gap.
6. Cracks on your foundation, walls and floors.
This is usually the most common sign of foundation weakness. It’s normal for a foundation to sink and develop tiny cracks in the first two to three years following construction. However, if the gaps increase in size, it’s a sign of trouble. When your foundation is solid, it also means that other structural components are solid aswell. So, get a professional to inspect your house for any foundation issues and get it repaired immediately. You will be glad that you did in the long run.