Many signs of a foundation problem aren’t so easily recognized. While a stuck door may be just that, it could be an indicator of a larger issue. The best way to assess your home’s foundation is to contact Perma-Pier to schedule your no charge evaluation. However, there are some things you can inspect yourself beforehand:
Does the masonry around your home show any signs of cracking? In the mortar? In the actual brick? Is your chimney separating from the rest of the home? These could be signs of a shifting foundation, and should be taken as a potential sign of foundation issues. As always, the sooner you act on this type of damage, the more damage—and repair costs—you’ll avoid later on.
Are there visible gaps in the frieze and fascia on your home? The material that connects your roof to the exterior walls of your home can tell you a lot about your foundation’s health. These gaps could just be your home settling or reacting to humidity, but they could also be signs of a foundation problem.
Have you noticed unusual drainage patterns around your home when it rains or when you water the lawn? A change in the way water moves around your home could be a sign of a real foundation issue.
Are your doors and windows not closing as they should? Is the front door is starting to stick? This could be as simple as humidity causing the doorframe to swell, but it could also be a sign that the doorframe is no longer square due to a shifting foundation.
Have you recently had a broken pipe in your home? Even if you haven’t seen any water, have you noticed a spike in your water bill? There could be an unseen leak eroding the soil underneath your foundation. Often, as the foundation settles — or moves in some other unpredictable manner — your home’s plumbing may fail. While fixing the offending pipe may seem like the final solution, if the foundation hasn’t been stabilized, you’ll simply be repeating this repair in the future.
Warping or sloping floors: have you noticed things rolling in new directions? When you spill the iced tea, did it run to a corner instead of pooling on the floor? Is your wood floor buckling? Are your kitchen tiles separating or cracking? Do you see new cracks in the garage floor? Your flooring sits on top of your foundation, so any sign that the floor is suffering should be read as a possible sign of a foundation problem.
A note about foundation problems versus settling
Some of the signs listed above may not be the result or indication of a foundation failure. In some instances — particularly in new homes — your foundation will go through a period of time during which it simply settles into the soil around it. While your builder, in all likelihood, took every effort to ensure a firm soil bed for your foundation to be laid upon, they cannot predict what the weather and geology will be like in five or ten years. So what is the difference? It all comes down to a matter of degree: settling typically involves very small movement, without any visible damage to the foundation itself or the plumbing that passes through it — you may only experience one of the above signs. When the soil and foundation movement becomes excessive, you’ll see more severe and sometimes multiple examples of the signs we’ve listed above.