Signs of Foundation Problems in Your House
Ravin Desai is Co-Founder of gharpedia.com and Director of SDCPL. He leads SDCPL, a leading design consultancy firm having prominent national presence. He has a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering (MS-USA) and has diverse experience of 12 years in multiple disciplines. He is the core member of Editorial team at GharPedia. He is also co-founder of 1mnt.in, the first-in-Industry software for contractors’ billing.
Foundation is the most important element of the house. It basically acts as the legs of the home. When the foundation of the house is not right or proper, the performance of the house is adversely affected. Understanding the signs of foundation problems in your house will let you understand the cause of the problem which will save your money for repairs.
We have already discussed the causes of failure of foundation. Here are the signs of foundation problems which needs to be understood properly. It will eliminate the high maintenance and repair cost of the house.
01. Observe Nail in the Wall
Have you ever observed the nail on the drywall with pops or cracked circle around the nail head? Exposing of nail head or paint cracked at nail head are the first indication or signs of foundation settlement or house settlement.
02. Observe the Floor
Have you ever observe the gap between the wall and floor? Floor gaps, wall gaps and gaps between your floor and wall are also the signs of your foundation settlement. Sometimes uneven, bowing or sagging of floors is observed due to the settling of support columns or sagging of floor joists. They are also the indication of foundation problems.
03. Observe Basement
The horizontal and vertical cracks in walls of basement indicate the foundation problem. Stair-step cracks in the wall of basement also indicate the problem in the foundation of your home. It occurs when water gets drained into the ground due to which soil expands, which ultimately push the basement wall. Tilting and bowing of the basement wall also indicate the foundation problem. Sometimes if the foundation wall is made from concrete block, cracking will occur along the joints which also indicate foundation problem.
During the storm, flood waters can impose extreme loads on the foundation walls. The force of flood waters and waves can cause cracks in foundation walls. The force also bends or collapse the foundation walls. Hence it ultimately raises the foundation problem in your home.
04. Observe Brick/Block Walls
Diagonal cracks in brick walls begin in a corner and lead towards a window or door. This generally indicates the foundation problem. These cracks are wider at the top than at the bottom.
Horizontal cracks appearing in brick walls when soil pushes your foundation up and forces the wall in, is also a sign of the foundation problem.
Vertical cracks appear in brick walls when the soil below the foundation of your house is shifting. It is also a sign of the foundation problem.
Stair-step cracks appear in brick walls when the foundation of your house settles unevenly due to the unstable soil.
Also Read: Preventive Measures of Cracks in Brick Walls
05. Observe Doors and Windows
Sometimes the doors and windows of your home can stick or swing after being pushed or have gaps around the top and bottom particularly when your foundation is sinking. So swinging or sticking of the door is a sign of house settlement. It is due to the soil which is not able to support your house properly.
Cracks will also appear around the door and window frames, ceiling, corners and along the walls. These type of cracks may appear due to the foundation problem. If you notice multiple cracks, then your foundation needs to be repaired. The problem in closing of doors and window is the first sign of some settlement unless it is due to expansion of wooden frame due to moisture.
06. Observe Ground Around Your Home
Sometimes, the ground around the house sinks, which indicates that you have a serious foundation problem. Sometimes ground sink near your foundation because of some other reason, so it is advisable to look other signs of foundation problems like cracks in brick walls, stuck windows, and cracked bricks, etc.
All above problems are hazardous and if it remains unfixed, may cause additional damage to your house including either huge cost of repair or failure and if allowed to deteriorate for a long time, it may bring total collapse too.