Recognizing The Signs Of Foundation Failure

When it comes to a failing foundation, fast response time is key. This is why it’s so important that every home owner is familiar with the signs of a failing concrete foundation or slab.

The sooner the problem is detected, the better the outcome of the repair will be. In this article, we will list the top ten hallmark signs of a sinking or uneven concrete slab or foundation.

Cracking and Bowing Walls

When the foundation begins to fail, cracking and bowing in the walls will be one of the first signs. You could expect to see torn wallpaper with cracking beneath, cracks between door/window fixtures and the ceiling or floor, prominent cracking in sheet rock walls, and more.

Cracks In Foundation Or Floor Tiles

One of the most obvious signs of foundation trouble will be cracks in the foundation itself, or the floor tiles. These cracks can come up the foundation and extend into any brick work or masonry on the walls, as well as run unseen beneath wooden or carpeted floors.

Uneven Or Cracked Moldings

As the walls and floor begin moving independently of each other, you may notice uneven or cracked moldings at the ceiling or running midway around the walls. The molding may crack, separate, or come away from the wall/ceiling they are supposed to be making contact with. This can also be seen around the edges of corner moldings.

Sloping, Dipped, Or Uneven Floors

Before cracking, uneven floors may slope or dip. If you notice an unusually low area in your floor, it’s a major sign of brewing problems with the foundation below. Floors may also sink and come away from the walls, or bow up in areas.

Interior Or Exterior Cracks In Brickwork

As the floor sinks and deforms, cracks may form in the bricks and masonry. Cracks may run in straight lines right through both brick and mortar alike, but can also create ‘stair-step’ cracks which only affect the mortar between each brick.

Wall Rotation

Wall rotation can be quite dangerous as it can serve to make the home unstable. When the foundation sinks or deforms, walls can bow or twist outwards or inwards, causing large cracks. They can also cause paint or tiling to chip or peel away, and extensive damage to fixtures on that wall.

Separation Of Windows, Garage Doors, Or Interior Doors

Another serious sign is the separation of the walls, ceiling, or floor from windows or door frames. Alternatively, the frames themselves may begin to deform, causing the edges of the frame to form gaps between them.

Gaps Between Walls And Ceiling Or Floor

Movement of the foundation may result in gaps between where the walls would meet either the ceiling or the floor.

Windows And Doors Not Opening Correctly

Shifting of the walls or foundation may also cause window frames and door frames to distort. This can result in the windows sticking, not sliding up or down smoothly, doors scraping on the floor, jamming, or swinging open on their own.

Walls Separating From The Home

And finally, serious sifting of the foundation may result in entire walls moving away from the rest of the home by the seams and corners. This is a very dangerous situation, as the uneven wall may cause that section of the wall or ceiling to cave in or collapse.

If you notice one of more of these foundation failure warning signs, you should contact a professional immediately. Only a trained professional can evaluate the extent of the damage to your home’s walls or foundation, and determine the correct course of action. If you would like to know more, we invite you to visit our website. Additionally, you may contact us with any questions or comments.

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