When you buy a house, you’re going into your mortgage knowing you’ll be responsible for the repairs and maintenance that come with your new property. Foundation repairs aren’t usually the first repair that comes to mind when you’re making your next big investment. But it’s good to know the different signs of foundation problems before they become foundation disasters.
So what causes foundation problems in the first place? And how can you tell when your house has a foundation issue and isn’t just settling like any other home?
Foundation Issues: What Causes Them And How To Spot Them
Water is your nemesis when it comes to foundation issues. You can build a house on what looks like completely flat land, but moisture can cause the soil beneath your house to expand or shift.
This results in a house that only partially settles. Left untreated, your home can start to show cracks and leaks that can turn into serious structural issues. Over time, these problems can compromise not only the value of your home but also your safety.
That said, here are 10 ways you can tell your home has some foundation issues you’ll want to contact a professional about:
- There are cracks in the drywall. Cracks can form in your drywall for many different reasons. If you live in a high humidity location, the moisture can cause cracks in your walls over time. Water damage from your roof can also cause cracks in the walls. But if your gutter systems are in great shape, your attic insulation is fine, and humidity is not an issue, these cracks could mean your foundation’s uneven.
- There are cracks in your exterior walls. Although drywall cracks are a common symptom of different house ailments, cracks in your exterior walls are almost always a foundation issue. Your brick siding can become uneven as the soil shifts under the house and the home adjusts.
- There are a lot of bugs in your house. Every homeowner has to deal with their fair share of pests every so often. But if your home seems to have a strangely high number of bugs, it could be a sign that there are cracks in your foundation. Centipedes, pill bugs, earwigs, carpenter ants, and roaches are drawn to moist areas and will usually make their way into your house through foundation cracks.
- Your floors are uneven or sagging. As your foundation shifts, so will your floors. You might notice that you could easily send a ball rolling down your living room floor or there are soft spots in your flooring. Inadequate foundation waterproofing can cause water to creep in and warp your floors.
- Your doors and windows are sticking. Sticky doors and windows can sometimes be caused by humidity. The wood in the door or windows expands with the moisture, making it harder for them to work properly. But if there isn’t any humidity in your area and your doors and windows are consistently sticking for no apparent reason, it could be that your foundation is shifting. This happens because, as the foundation moves, the door or window frame will also twist out of balance.
- There are cracks above your windows. Going off of the point above, when your window and door frames twist out of balance as your foundation shifts, this can cause cracks in the frames.
- There’s moisture in your crawl space or basement. Some homes that have foundation issues will have moisture in their crawl spaces or a wet, leaking basement. The moisture gets in through foundational cracks and can cause musty smells, mold growth, uneven floors, and sagging floorboards.
- You have bowing walls. Untreated cracks in your walls can sometimes lead to bowing. Bowed walls happen because of the soil movement under the foundation. The soil movement causes hydrostatic pressure and poor water drainage. This causes moisture buildup and pressure to bow your walls so they look like they’re folding in.
- Your walls are separating from your house. Wall separation can sometimes be caused by bowing, but not necessarily. As the soil moves and your floors shift, the walls on your house will start to separate from the roof and the rest of the structure.
- There’s space between the wall and ceiling or floor. Speaking of wall separation, another way you can tell there are foundational issues is when there’s space between your wall and the ceiling or your wall and the floor. This is usually a warning sign that wall separation is beginning to happen.
Does Your Home Need Residential Foundation Repair?
The majority of homes in Texas that were built less than 50 years ago have a slab foundation. But sometimes the soil under your house can shift and cause an uneven foundation over time.
PermaPier offers soil analysis, drainage services, and foundation repair to ensure your home is as stable and secure as possible. To learn more about our residential foundation repair services, contact PermaPier today.