Home is where the heart it is. But if your home has foundation problems potentially costing in the tens of thousands to fix, your home may give you a heart attack.
Fortunately, there are telling signs that can help you detect a problem early. Cracks in the wall? Sticking doors? Windows that won’t close completely? If yes, your home may have foundational problems and an evaluation is due.
Here are some warning signs of foundation trouble that might not be too late to repair.
Get a breath of fresh air and open your windows. Do they require a little tug to open or some muscle to get them shut? If your windows begin to stick or refuse to close properly, it could mean that you have a foundation problem. To know for sure, check the corners of your windows as these areas are particularly prone to cracking.
You may notice a hairline fissure connects from the window’s corner to the corner of the room (where the walls meet at a 90 degree angle). It might be small at first. But it’s a good practice to periodically measure the hairline’s width to catch any signs of widening.
If the width grows, there’s no doubt your foundation is shifting.
Next give your doors a try. Do they stubbornly latch, jam or swing within their frames? Defective doors are the first indication there’s trouble beneath your home. Furthermore, it may mean the trouble is near by.
To know for sure, measure the gap between the top corner of your door and its frame as to find out what kind of foundational problem it is (e.g., is the foundation rising or sinking).
For instance, if there’s a horizontal drop across the doorway it means your home’s foundation is sinking towards the middle. It could be because the soil below your home is shrinking or it could be something more minor.
Whatever it is, you need to take action quickly.
Are you taller in one side of the room but shorter on the other side? While it’s unlikely you’ll notice such a difference, bulging, sloping, or uneven floors is a trademark sign your foundation is settling.
However, if you have carpet you might have to expose the floor to know for certain. Or you can look around your baseboards to find any apparent gaps between the walls.
If you don’t have carpet, drop a marble and follow where it rolls to know the direction and tilt of the slope.
Walls can be an indication that the problem is serious. First, look for any obvious signs of cracks or torn wall paper due to cracking in the paneling. Next, see if there are any gaps between the wall and ceiling and/or floors.
If your walls are separating from your house or rotating in another direction, there’s more than a good chance your foundation underneath your home is settled.
Finding signs your home has foundational problems doesn’t mean you’re doomed. If you’re lucky and notice cracks early, the structural problems might not be severe, so you can fix them without having to build a new foundation from scratch.
However, the longer you wait to solve the problem, the more your foundation will sink and the more expensive it will be to repair. Wait too long and you might have to buy a new home. Hence the value of a professional inspection.
A structural engineer can tell you if any foundation troubles are caused by normal settling or costly structural damage. Generally, an inspection alone can cost you quite a bit of money.
Or you can contact, Perma-Pier and get an inspection for free and repair any problems before it’s too late.