Recognizing the early signs of foundation issues help you increase your chances of avoiding bigger problems that could cost tens of thousands of dollars on down the road. The quicker you identify and repair potential problems, then the less time and money you will spend in repairs.
When your home was built, the contractor had to level the ground in order to build it. Over time, however that ground settles which affects the foundation of your home. It is perfectly natural for homes to be a little uneven, but it is important to know the difference between this and warning signs to bigger problems headed your way.
Finding Trouble from the Inside Out
The basic warning signs are things that you might notice during your family’s day to day activities. For example, if a door fails to latch or there’s a crack in a wall, especially over a door or window, then there could be problems with your foundation. The same goes for cracks in concrete floors and windows that start giving you trouble.
Once outside, you can sight down the length of your foundation from one corner to another to ensure that it is straight. A level can tell you if a wall is in good shape or if it is leaning. Bulges in a block foundation and curves in poured concrete walls are other signs of potential foundation problems. Concrete cracks occur when the cement is not able to shrink evenly across its entire mass. It is natural for block or concrete foundations to have a couple of cracks. Hairline cracks between blocks that are contained within the mortar are not an issue. Stair-step shaped cracks in masonry joints or horizontal cracks are bigger issues and need attention from a repair service as soon as possible.
Inspecting for Structural Damage
Different homes have different types of foundations. In addition to block and poured concrete, your home might have a crawl space or some type of post foundation in place. In these cases, crawl spaces should be free from moisture, puddles, and all signs of mold. The framing should be dry as well. Probe wood posts with a screwdriver or awl to check for signs of rot or insect damage. If you suspect foundation damage, then arrange for a consultation with us as soon as possible. There is no fee for the inspection but, if work is needed, you will have to pay a fee for the engineer to draw up a set of plans that displays a solution for your foundation repair. The longer you wait to contact a professional, the more you risk paying a substantial fee to fix bigger problems.