How to Spot Foundation Problems
Your home’s foundation is one of the most important parts of its structure, but it’s one area you may not think about regularly. However, an issue with your foundation can cause trouble for the structure itself.
Usually, people look for cracks in the foundation to decide if there’s an issue. While some cracks can be caused by normal settling, major foundation issues are not only problematic, but also costly to repair. Learn about the top four most common foundation problems and ways you can spot them.
Windows and Doors That Stick or Won’t Open and Close
If your windows and doors are sticking and not opening or shutting properly, your home’s foundation may be the problem. As the problem grows, the walls in your house could start shifting as well. These shifts are often small and develop over long periods of time. Gradually, these shifts can cause your doors and windows to become misaligned or jammed.
Speaking of jambs, windows and door jambs could be shifting as well. Windows and doors can become harder to move as the framing around them shifts and misaligns the hinges or lifting mechanisms. It may also be likely that the wood around the doors and windows has started placing more pressure on the frames.
While many people look down to spot foundation problems, you should look up. Although cracks in title and cement floors can be signs of foundation issues, cracks in the ceiling, and above windows and doors, are actually more likely to develop sooner. If you have floor coverings, such as linoleum or carpet, you may not be able to see cracks develop in the concrete underneath.
Look for vertical, spiderweb-like cracks on your ceiling near corners or near the corners of door frames or jambs. These weak spots can be caused by foundation issues and can indicate a potential problem. The cracks might also mean that the foundation and the walls may be shifting, weakening connections to the ceiling, and compromising the plaster’s integrity.
Cracks in the Foundation
Cracks in your foundation can also be signs of problems. If the cracks are vertical, these cracks may point to a settling foundation.
However, horizontal cracks, especially if the cement around them is crumbling or weak, are not something to ignore. If the cement is crumbling, the concrete used in your foundation may be structurally weak itself. The weakened cement, coupled with the cracks, can be strong signals of a compromised foundation.
Doors That Won’t Stay Closed
If your doors tend to swing open by themselves or won’t stay closed on their own, your floor could be uneven. An uneven floor can cause the doors to move and make the doors more difficult to latch. While problematic doors could also point to other problems, if tightening the hinges doesn’t help, you should have a professional home inspector examine your home’s foundation.
Knowing what to look for when you’re facing home foundation problems is key. When you concentrate on the issues above, you’ll not only realize when you may need serious repairs by a professional foundation repair company, but you’ll also notice those signs that your home’s foundation has a problem sooner than later.