Keeping your home in tip-top shape is critical for it to last for as long as possible. After all, you have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into your house, so the longer it lasts, the more you will get from this investment. A plethora of problems can present themselves, but there’s a hidden area of your home that often gets overlooked.
Your foundation is literally what keeps your home upright, so any issues with it can be catastrophic. It could ruin the structural integrity of your home, making it possible that parts of it could fall down. Thankfully, foundation problems can be addressed and repaired when you catch them early. This would prevent any major issues from forming in your home, keeping it in the best condition.
With that in mind, you need to identify and discover some of the telltale signs of foundation issues in your home. Here are a handful of things to look for:
Fractures and cracks
When a house is built, it will spend the next few years settling into place. While this happens, it’s normal to experience tiny vertical hairline fractures here and there as your foundation settles into place. However, when you notice any fractures or cracks that run horizontally and are above 1/4″ in size, this could indicate a foundation problem.
Experts like Pinnacle Foundation Repair will explain that these cracks form as expanding and contracting soils make the foundation shift more than normal. This creates gaps, leading to cracks, creating structural instability if left untreated. Always look for cracks or fractures in your foundation or exterior walls. Horizontal and diagonal cracks are the biggest causes for concern, but even vertical cracks over a certain size should worry you.
An uneven property
Another telltale sign that there are foundation problems in your home is if your property seems uneven. Head outside and look at your house – does it seem like one half is lower than the other? Does it look like there’s a dip in the middle of your home? Issues like this stem from your foundation settling and sinking in certain areas of your property, but not in others.
Granted, it is normal to see some uneven settling initially. But, if the other side of your home doesn’t even itself out, there’s an issue with the foundations. It probably has something to do with the ground the home was built on being unable to take the weight of the home properly. There could also be some structural issues with the foundation pillars making one side take on more load than the other, causing sinkage. This is why it’s a good idea to periodically take photos of your home, so you have something to compare it to when checking if it has become uneven or not.
Have you noticed that a lot of the doors in your house seem to stick when you open them? They get caught at the top, and you really have to yank them open with force. While there are a couple of reasons this might happen, one of the main ones is down to your foundation sinking slightly and beginning to settle. Therefore, the rest of your home almost shrinks down a bit, hence the doorframes are now slightly lower than they used to be, and your doors keep sticking.
When this happens, you can try to fix the problem by sanding down the top of your doors to create more space. If you find that this solves the issue and your doors stop sticking from here on out, you just experienced some natural shrinkage and it isn’t an issue. However, if the door starts sticking again after a few months, it shows the home is continuing to shrink. This can be a big sign of a foundation issue, and you need to call in an expert to survey your property and help you understand where the problem lies and how to fix it.
Cabinets tilting from the wall
Your cabinets are designed to be fitted to the wall, and that is where they should stay. Be sure to keep checking your cabinets now and then to spot if they have started moving or coming away from the wall. You might put this down to a poor choice of cabinets, but it is most likely down to foundation problems.
When something causes your foundation to be uneven or unstable, it affects all other elements of your home. This includes the walls, which might start to tilt and become unlevel. From here, anything that’s attached to your walls will start tilting away from them, slowly but surely moving further and further away. You need to spot this as early as possible to undergo foundation repairs that restore the structural stability of your home. Otherwise, you might end up with cabinets falling from the walls and causing mass amounts of property damage.
Frames pulling away from brick
Have a close look at all of the window frames and exterior door frames in your home. Ideally, they should all fit into place with no gaps separating them from the walls surrounding them. If you notice that the frames start separating from brick, it’s a big problem. It means there is a serious foundation problem that’s causing this to happen.
A subtle way to see if this is the case – before any gaps even appear – is to check if your doors still latch. If you struggle to pull the bar across to latch them, as it’s out of alignment, this is an early warning sign that the frames are pulling away. Call in the experts to assess the situation and provide the repairs required to protect your home.
Overall, it’s imperative that you learn to spot these warning signs of foundation problems in your home. Issues with the foundation will affect everything from the ground upward in your property. When left unattended, this can cause significant property issues that cost a fortune to sort out and may lead to extreme property damage. Always be sure you spot the signs as early as possible, then seek professional help to come up with a solution.