Early foundation warning signs
Knowing the early warning signs of foundation troubles can head off problems that ultimately could cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix. The sooner you identify potential problems, the easier — and less expensive — it is to fix them.
This article from House Logic does a great job of explaining some of the early warning signs to watch for – take a spin by reading it!
The 4 Basic Indoor Warning Signs
Houses settle over time, and a little unevenness isn’t caused for panic. At the same time, you’ll want to be alert to these warning signs that more dramatic changes are taking place:
1. A door begins to jam or fails to latch.
2. Cracks appear in walls, especially over doorways, windows, or where walls meet ceilings.
3. Cracks open in vinyl or ceramic tile over a concrete floor.
4. Windows that used to open and close easily suddenly begin to stick or won’t close completely.
Check the Outside
Moving outside, check to see if your foundation is straight by sighting down the length of your foundation wall from each corner. The walls should be basically straight, both up and down and from side to side. Check for leaning walls with a level.
A bulge or curve in either a block foundation or a poured concrete wall could signal that the foundation has shifted, or that the soil around your foundation may be expanding and contracting, putting pressure on walls.
Probe Concrete for Weakness
If your house has a poured perimeter foundation and the concrete appears to be chipping and flaking, poke it in a few places with a sturdy screwdriver. The concrete should be so hard that you can’t damage it.
If you manage to chip it or break a piece off, the concrete could be deteriorating because the mix contained dirty or salty sand or too much water. This problem, common in homes built in the early 1900s in some parts of the country, has no remedy short of a new foundation.
Checking Structural Components
Foundation systems have other members besides the perimeter foundation wall. In your basement or crawl space, look for posts and concrete supports, or piers. Posts should stand straight and be firmly planted underneath the beams they support. Bottoms of posts should rest firmly on concrete piers.
You shouldn’t find puddles or see framing that’s wet. Check for rot by probing wood posts with a screwdriver or awl.
Puddles and other signs of moisture in a crawl space may indicate poor drainage around the perimeter foundation. Be sure that gutters aren’t plugged, and that soil slopes away from the foundation at the rate of 6 inches for every 10 horizontal feet.
Contact us today to let us help you fend off any warning signs you may be experiencing.