Home Foundation Issues Which Need to Be Repaired Immediately

Foundation problems cannot solve themselves, nor will they ever get better on their own. In fact, the issues will only get worse. As it does, the cost of repair goes up while your resale value goes down. And, this isn’t just about the appearance. Foundation problems can run deep, so you truly can’t afford to wait to fix it. You should have a budget for foundation repair, as it is a necessary part of any home maintenance plan.

It’s not something you worry about every day, but you can save thousands of dollars by simply making minor foundation repairs early on. Don’t let a small issue turn into a major problem. Here is how you can tell if you have a foundation problem.

Uneven floors

Are you starting to feel like you live in a fun house? Well, uneven floors are no laughing matter, as this can be an indication of settling. If you want to be sure, use a tape measure, laser line or level. Then, check your floors in multiple locations such as along the walls in the interior, the exterior walls and the middle sections. Once you are certain you have slanted floors, it is imperative to address the issue sooner, rather than later.

Doors and windows are sticking shut

If your doors and windows do not open like they used to, then this is a rather common sign that your foundation is settling. If your home is settling on one side, your windows and doors will have a tendency to get stuck. The reason is they are no longer square and level.

Patches and cracks

Did you purchase your home from someone else? Are their suspicious cracks and patches? Search for evidence of past repairs. Problems with settlement can lead to cracks in the walls, and the previous owners may have tried to cover up any evidence of foundation issues. You can also check out Level Pro’s foundation repair videos to learn more.

Noticeable cracks

A clear sign of foundation problems are visible cracks on the interior and exterior of your home. Any vertical cracking, which gets wider, is a sign the wall is rotating. You also want to look for signs of cracking inside your home, such as in wood paneling, drywall and plaster. Look for cracks in your basement floor and concrete slab. Once you fix your foundation, you can then focus on giving your home an exterior facelift.

Gaps between caulking

When your home foundation is settling and shifting, you will see gaps between caulking and windows or doors. Another code red situation you should resolve immediately.

Bowed basement walls

Severe foundation settling problem resulting in cracked brick, window molding separation, window frame out of plumb

Check to see if your basement walls are bowing in, as this could mean a foundation issue caused by soil expansion. Wet soil will expand, and when it dries, it pulls back away from your foundation. As a result, weak areas may eventually bow.

Slanted mortar joints

One of the easiest ways to tell if your foundation is in need of repair is to measure mortar joints. Masons are very particular about brick and block work. They always use a level, and as a result, you can count on having straight and level lines. So, you should check your mortar joints against a laser line. If they aren’t as straight as they used to be, then something is out of place. This means your foundation has probably shifted below.

Wallpaper creasing and wrinkling

Sure, the wallpaper can be damaged for a wide variety of reasons. If it creases and crinkles, this could be something which requires further investigation. Moreover, it may be the result of walls shifting. As walls shift, the wallpaper will also shift, causing it to pull away or rip.

Unstable chimney

If your chimney is leaning or shows visible cracks, this could be due to foundation settlement. In many cases, the chimney is installed at the same time the house is built. This means it could share the same soil.

Drying and sinking soil

During periods of extensive dry weather, the soils around your home can begin to dry. Clay soils will shrink considerably when dry. When this happens, your foundation will settle, which can cause structural damage.

Poorly compacted soil

In order to build your foundation, builders may use soil from somewhere else to fill hollow or depressed areas. The new soil can be looser and lighter. The builder will then compact the soil. If the compacting is poorly done, your home’s weight will cause the soil to compress and then there will be foundation settlement issues.

Fix your foundation before it is too late

Depending on the severity of the issue, foundation repair costs can range between $1,500 and $15,000. That is a large margin, depending on how long you waited or noticed there were issues. Now that you have an idea of the signs of foundation issues, there really isn’t an excuse to wait until it is too late. If you catch your foundation problem before it gets worse, you can save thousands of dollars and repairs can also be used as a preventative measure to avoid any potential issues.

Katrina Manning
Katrina Manning
[email protected]

English-speaking technical and web writer/editor with over eight years' experience penning content for a wide variety of sites and publications.

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