Home Improvement

How to Tell If Your Home’s Foundation Has Problems

The foundation is the most important part of your house without question. Without a solid foundation, the house cannot stand.

If you have problems with your foundation, it can cause issues throughout the structure. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to tell if your home is having foundation problems or more basic issues. A professional is best equipped to get to the root of the problem.

Steve Schulz of Dry Basement Solutions says, “Foundation repair is one of the best ways homeowners can take care of their houses. To keep your home in shape, it is a good idea to know how to deal with foundation problems.” Dry Basement Solutions reviews your foundation thoroughly to find any problems.

If you want to do a quick scan of your home on your own, there are some things you can look for. Check for these signs if you’re worried about your home’s foundation.

6 Common Signs You Need to Fix Your Foundation

1. Your Walls Are Bowing

Before you see any cracks in your walls, they will start to bow. It can be hard to tell if they are bowing or not, but it’s better if you can catch bowing walls early. If one of your walls just doesn’t look quite right, get it checked out.

One of the easier ways to tell if your walls are bowing is to check if your floor is level. If the floor near the wall in question isn’t level, that’s a sign you should definitely call an expert. Putting off repairs will cause more problems down the line.

2. Cracks in the Walls Are Common

A few cracks in the walls every so often is normal, especially near windows and doors. Weather changes can cause the walls to expand and contract, and windows and doors get in the way.

The cracks you’re looking for are wide and either horizontal or slanted. These can be signs that you have foundation problems. Even one could be a sign; if you have multiple cracks like this, pick up the phone right now and get help.

3. The Chimney Is Shifting

Chimneys are more vulnerable to shifts in the foundation than other parts of your house. Check your chimney to see if it’s uneven. A slight shift can simply be a sign of normal aging. However, if bricks are missing or it looks lopsided, you should call a professional right away.

If your chimney goes down, it can take down a chunk of your house with it. If you have serious foundation problems, it could start a domino effect that takes down a huge section. If you haven’t used your fireplace in a while, go check it.

4. Doors and Windows Stick

Eventually, those small cracks around your windows and doors will add up. If you let them accumulate without repairs, you can end up with doors and windows that are difficult to open and close.

If you keep putting off repairs, your doors and windows could start to detach from the walls. This is a sign that your foundation is being affected. To avoid this, repair cracks when they appear; don’t let them add up.

5. The Floors Are Slanting

Checking the leveling of your floors isn’t only useful when looking for bowing walls. If your floors are mysteriously slanting anywhere, it can be a sign of foundation trouble.

If your floors aren’t level, weight is being distributed improperly. This won’t necessarily cause your walls to bow, so grab your level and check the floors every few years.

Like most of these signs, a slight slant of the floor can be hard to spot. However, it’s important to catch foundation issues early. If you don’t, you could end up with the final sign.

6. The Ceilings Are Sagging

This is the most obvious sign of problems with your foundation. If your ceilings are sagging, call a professional right away. You are in danger.

A sagging ceiling could collapse at any moment. Like your fireplace, if the ceiling collapses, it can drag other parts of your home with it. Do not put off repairs.

If you have any doubt about whether your foundation is in good shape, have a professional do an inspection. They will know exactly what to look for and what tests to do.

Do you think you have foundation problems? Do any of these signs ring a bell? Let us know in the comments, and discuss your concerns with someone as soon as possible.

Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.

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