The first signs of foundation issues can be easy to miss, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Unfortunately, minor problems can lead to serious, expensive repairs if ignored or overlooked for too long. A property’s foundation is what keeps your home standing tall and steady. Understanding the initial signs of foundation damage and taking fast action can help prevent the issues from worsening and reduce the repair cost. We cover the first tell-tale signs of foundation damage to look out for, detailing when to call a foundation contractor.
Cracks occur for many reasons. Although they aren’t always indicating foundation damage, cracks around your home should be dealt with promptly. While a crack isn’t always trouble and may not bring on foundation issues, evaluating the situation is important to find the best course of action.
With a newly-built home, there is no doubt that you’ll notice some sinking, minor cracking, and settling. This shifting is completely normal and shouldn’t cause severe damage (given your foundation is installed properly). Long, horizontal cracks are the most concerning as they indicate growing pressure beneath the foundation.
Movement and stress in your home’s foundation cause cracks. This shifting is caused by changing pressure due to expanding soil, water damage, measurement/engineering errors, and insufficient reinforcement. Additions to a structure and changes in the surrounding environment are typically the root cause of structural cracks in the foundation.
Moisture can impact your home’s foundation. Moisture and dampness, especially in sub-terrain levels of your home (basements), should never be ignored as they can cause accumulative damage. If you notice damp spots on your walls, ceiling, or flooring, find out the cause and whether it needs to be addressed.
Moisture in the soil can also lead to issues; it can impact construction differently, depending on the soil type. Soil drainage plays a big part in this.
Moisture held in the soil can cause movement beneath and around your home’s foundation. As mentioned previously, movement is a foundation’s worst enemy. Over time, dampness in soil with poor drainage will cause the earth to expand and put more pressure on your foundation.
What complicates matters more is that a lack of moisture can negatively impact a structure’s foundation. For example, moisture is drawn from the soil during drought or in unusually dry seasons and may leave open cracks in the earth. The space between the dry cracks in surrounding soil may damage a structure’s foundation and require costly repairs.
Problems with Doors and Window
If you notice some issues with the doors and windows in your home, there may be some cause for concern. Windows jamming or becoming misaligned with the frame may indicate movement within the foundation.
As the soil shifts and settles beneath a structure, it can cause the structure’s frame to twist and move, causing a ripple effect up to the window. Over time, this process will warp door and window frames, leaving them misshapen. If you’re struggling to open and close your doors and windows properly and have noticed the frames separating, you may have foundation problems.
Sagging and Warping
As with doors and windows, other areas of your home can warp and misshape over time due to shifting soil. Keep an eye on your skirting boards, floor, and ceiling, as sagging in these areas may indicate some serious damage.
Sagging is often a result of foundation movement. A little movement and settling after construction is no reason to worry. However, if the dents, dips, and curves happen unevenly or unexpectedly, this could be cause for concern. If you notice warped areas around your home, get in touch with a foundation contractor promptly to avoid the issue worsening over time.
Let Us Handle Your Foundation Repairs
The Earth has a mind of its own. While we can’t control how soil moves, you can trust us to fix your foundation, applying the best possible solution to keep your home sound for decades. We have the tools and experience to handle all your foundation repairs. Don’t wait until it’s too late; get in touch immediately if you’ve noticed cracks, warping, or dampness. Our expert contractors will be happy to help.