Foundation problems can occur for a wide variety of reasons, but one thing many people don’t know about is how to discover foundation problems. Many people assume that foundation problems are something only an expert can uncover. As a matter of fact, it’s totally possible for the layperson to notice foundation problems as well.
Just keep an eye out for these eight simple ways to notice foundation problems.
- Cracks in the Walls or Floor
Cracks can occur in the walls or floor for a variety of reasons. However, especially if you have diagonal cracks coming from the corners of your walls or you’re seeing stair-step cracks in brick walls, there are probably issues with your foundation. Make sure you’re paying attention to these cracks early on, because chances are they’re not harmless.
2. Doors and Windows That Stick When You Open Them
When doors and windows stick at specific spots when you open or close them, it’s important to look further into the doors and windows to see whether the problem might be foundational. It’s common for these problems to occur because of a warped doorframe or window frame, which often occurs when one side is settling more than the other.
3. Gaps Between Walls, Windows, and Doors
Do you have gaps in home construction areas that shouldn’t have gaps? For example, does it seem like there’s a gap between two adjoining walls that shouldn’t be there? Are there gaps between your walls and your floors? These gaps tend to occur only when one side of the home is sinking more quickly than the other.
4. Sagging and Slanting Floors
Sagging and slanting floors are something that you need to tackle as early on as possible. If you’re experiencing sagging and slanting floors, you need to make sure that your home has enough structural stability to hold up the floor joists. Otherwise, you might be dealing with a serious foundation problem.
5. Leaning Chimney
Chimneys often have foundations that aren’t the same as the foundation underneath the rest of the home. If you have a foundation that’s different from the foundation in the rest of your home, the chimney foundation might move while the other foundation doesn’t, opening yourself up to a variety of potential causes for concern.
6. Bowing Basement Walls
If you go into your basement, do you notice that the walls push inward, especially around the middle? This can occur when there’s too much hydrostatic pressure building up around the basement walls, causing them to push inward. If you leave this problem for too long, it’s common for the walls to continue to bow inward; in serious situations, it can even cause foundation wall collapse.
7. Musty Smell in the Basement or Crawl Space
As much as you may have heard that a musty smell in the basement or crawl space is normal, you should know that it actually indicates a problem. Specifically, that musty smell is actually probably mold or mildew. It’s a warning sign that there’s something wrong in your basement or crawl space, so you need to take it seriously.
8. Leaks and Waterproofing Problems
Whenever you notice damp spots in your basement or crawl space, you need to tackle that problem immediately. Damp spots indicate that there are waterproofing problems somewhere in the basement or crawl space. Because moisture can cause so many huge problems in these areas, you have to tackle that problem early on.
These are all surprisingly simple ways for you to manage any foundation problems that may arise in your home. If you’re worried about foundation problems occurring throughout your home, you should first make sure that you’re able to notice foundation problems when they’re there. Keep an eye out for these warning signs if you want to make sure you can call a foundation repair expert when it counts.