A deteriorating foundation can lead to devastating consequences when left unchecked. This includes structural instability, water damage, and decreased property value — all of which can be pretty costly to repair. But by recognizing the signs of decay, you can prevent further damage from happening down the line. To learn which red flags to look out for, here is a quick guide on how to know the foundation of your home needs attention:
1. Cracks in the Walls or Floors
A telltale sign that your foundation needs attention is when cracks start to appear on the walls or floors. The size of the cracks may vary, but even teeny, tiny hairline fractures can cause quite a bit of damage over time.
If you notice cracks forming on your walls, door frames, and windows, be aware. The sooner you take action to address the damage, the less money you have to spend on repairs later on.
2. Doors and Windows Misaligned
Another red flag to take heed of is when your doors or windows appear misaligned. This can happen when the foundation of your home starts to shift or settle unevenly. If your door or window is easily jammed, or you find that it no longer closes properly, seek out a professional who can help analyze the damage and recommend appropriate solutions.
3. Uneven or Sloping Floors
Walking on uneven flooring can put your equilibrium out of whack, but more than that, it points to a serious problem with your foundation. Sloping can happen when your foundation settles unevenly, causing a structural imbalance. This can lead to a domino effect of repercussions, from electrical malfunctions to plumbing concerns.
Before this happens to you, take a walk through your home to determine whether your flooring is uneven. If you notice signs of sloping, consult with a professional for help.
4. Bowing or Leaning Walls
A leaning wall can happen for a number of reasons, such as soil movement or poor drainage, which puts a lot of lateral pressure on your foundation. Leaning walls can be hard to spot, but if you happen to notice that your walls are tilting, take heed. This can be yet another signal that your foundation is in need of swift action.
5. Basement Water Issues
In movies, the basement is always the creepiest area of a home. But what’s worse than a haunted basement? A wet or damp one.
Having a damp basement is not a good sign. In fact, prolonged moisture can weaken your foundation, not only resulting in potential mold growth but a hefty price tag for repairs, too.
To avoid the trouble, be sure to note any signs of water intrusion in your basement before it becomes a bigger problem.
6. Pest Infestations
Encountering an insect in your home every once in a while is normal, but finding multiple creepy crawlers every day can point to a bigger problem. A damaged foundation can open up entry points for termites, ants, and other critters to make their way into your home.
Pests can make existing foundation problems a lot worse, causing even further deterioration. So if you happen to spot one too many insects crawling around, take a closer look at your home’s foundation.
7. Gaps Around Doors and Windows
If you find gaps forming around the doors and windows of your home, consider it a sign. When your foundation shifts, it can cause a misalignment in other areas, particularly around door and window frames, causing very obvious gaps.
To prevent this, be diligent in checking for any noticeable changes in the seals and caulking around your doors and windows. Doing so can help save you a lot of heartache down the road.
8. Visible Settling or Sinking
When it comes to detecting problems with your foundation, analyzing the exterior of your home is just as important as the interior. You might notice signs of settling or sinking in the soil around the foundation. If so, take caution! Finding depressions or low points in the landscape could mean that your foundation is moving, requiring quick action.
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by Melody Beuzelin | April 18, 2023
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