The foundation is the most important part of your house. Changes or problems in your foundation can effect the beauty, function, and stability of your home. Most people don’t consider the weight of a house in the normal course of their day, but a house is a very heavy object. Just as a car can put ruts in a yard, a house compresses the soil below it and can become unstable, causing expensive, long-term damage to the home. New homes can have foundation problems as easily as older homes and some homes merely two or five years old may have foundation problems. Homes should be inspected regularly for foundation problems; there are a number of places where foundation damage will appear which are foundation problem warning signs.
Many foundation problems appear in on the home’s internal and external walls. Corners should be inspected for cracks related to settling or other damage. Cracks may appear running from doorway corner or in corners where wall meets wall. Foundation problems may cause nails top pop out of gypsum board (sheetrock) as well. Outside the house, caulk joints need to be inspected for damage and bricks should be inspected for cracks in the mortar. Significant, long cracks in the mortar are one of the first signs of foundation damage. Kitchen cabinets should also be checked to see if they are pulling loose from the wall or if countertops are becoming less level.
Problems also appear in the doors and windows of a house with foundation issues. All doors and windows need to be checked regularly. A door that doesn’t open, especially an outside door that sticks, is a key indicator of a foundation problem. Windows that stick are another sign of a settling problem that is damaging the foundation. Windows also need to be inspected to insure that there is no separation between window and brick on the outside. It is important to not only check around the window for separation, but also to check the brick veneer to make sure it is not swelling or shrinking. There should be no bowing in the walls. Expanding gaps are also a sign of problems in the foundation.
It is also important to inspect floors for slopping and cracks as these are signs of a potential foundation issue. Stairs should also be inspected for cracks or separation between the stairs and the wall. The outside of the house needs to be checked for issues. The gutters need to be checked for drainage issues. Drainage should run away from the house rather than pooling against the house. Cracks can also appear in the foundation and be spotted from the outside. Home owners should also be concerned when dry weather allows soil to pull away from the foundation. It is important to address foundation problems sooner rather than later as they can quickly develop into more serious issues.
If you are observing any of these warning signs, you should contact Pro-Tech Foundation to schedule a free estimate. We will perform a home inspection and determine if any foundation repair work is needed. If any repairs are needed, we will discuss the foundation repair costs associated with your home.