Homeowners often worry about the structural integrity of their property, and understandably so – a home is a substantial investment. Regardless of the type of building you have; its structural integrity will always depend on the state of the foundation.
If you’re worried there might be problems in the foundation of your home, this article is for you! We will look at some of the most common foundation problem signs. Learning how to tell if a house has foundation issues and recognizing these signs early can save you several thousands of dollars in repair costs by getting help from the right Houston foundation repair company early in the game.
What are Foundation Problems?
Problems with the foundation of a building can affect everything from the doors to windows and even the roofing. If these problems are allowed to continue without necessary repairs, they can lead to widespread damage or collapse of all or parts of the building.
Some early signs of foundation problems include cracks observed on the walls or floors, doors and windows that stick out, gaps in the foundation or bricks of the house, wet or smelly basements, and foundation settling.
What Causes Problems Within the Foundation?
Problems with the foundation of a building are often associated with wide variations in temperature. During winter, the foundations of several buildings may be adversely affected due to abnormally low temperatures. Similarly, temperature conditions at the peak of summer or high rainfall during hurricane season can create stresses in the foundation which could lead to damage.
Another factor that compromises foundation integrity is moisture. In situations where there is a plumbing leak or inadequate drainage around the property, water may seep into the soil and create issues within the foundation. For help with Houston foundation plumbing repair, the URETEK Gulf Coast team can help.
Foundation Problems vs. Foundation Settling
Foundations have problems for a variety of reasons. One common reason is poor soil compaction. In this case, the soil has a high degree of porosity (wide spacing between soil particles) which may be due to high moisture content or excessive load per square inch applied to the foundation.
In the case of excessive loads, the supporting soil becomes weak, compromising the integrity of any foundation placed on it.
Is My House Sinking or Settling?
Foundation sinking occurs when your building appears to be sinking into the ground. For instance, you might observe that a certain part of your building is lower than the other sections. Recognizing the common foundation sinking signs early is vital to spare you the costs of undertaking foundation repairs.
There is a marked difference between standard house settling vs. foundation problems, and the severity of interior and exterior cracks in walls can usually be used to diagnose your underlying problem.
4 Foundation Problem Signs
We will now list some common signs of foundation problems in a home. Recognizing these foundation issue signs early and getting the necessary help can save your building from damage and save you extensive repair costs down the line.
If you observe cracks along the walls or floors of your building, it might be evidence of foundation problems. It is normal for some cracks to occur in the foundation of buildings in the first two years. However, if you observe horizontal cracks or fissures in the brick or concrete walls of your building, it may be one of the surest signs of a settling foundation. The degree of cracking along the walls typically correlates to the duration and severity of damage to the foundation.
When Is a Crack in the Foundation a Problem?
Cracks from 5-15mm in length and 2–6 inches wide may be considered ‘moderate’ while those over 15mm are considered more serious signs of a cracked foundation. Whether moderate or large, these cracks can grow to be much longer and wider, allowing insects and small animals to pervade the foundation and cause further deterioration if swift repairs are not carried out.
2. Doors and Window Frames that Stick Out
If you notice that your interior doors stick out or drag at the top, it is likely due to a fault in the foundation. You may find it difficult to close your doors properly, and there could be a little (1/4– ½ inch) clearance between the door and frame. For windows, you may observe gaps around the frames causing misalignment and making them difficult to close properly.
3. Moisture and Odors
Excessive wetness on floors can indicate a foundation problem. The moisture is caused by water seepage in the foundation or poor drainage. Moisture may cause molds, insect infestation, and gradual rotting of the wooden beams which causes an offensive odor in the home.
4. Uneven Floors
Another way to tell if there’s a foundation problem is if you notice that any section of a floor is uneven relative to others. When issues occur in pier and beam foundations, they may cause sagging across various floor sections. Sagging floors are a serious issue that requires an urgent inspection, as they tend to get worse over time.
If you notice any of these problems, consider using the services of competent professionals to inspect your home and test for foundation integrity.
Trust URETEK to Resolve Early Signs of Foundation Problems
URETEK ICR Gulf Coast is a local provider of plumbing and foundation remediation services based in Houston, Texas. We offer foundation repairs using our polyurethane foam jacking solution as well as concrete lifting and plumbing. We also offer additional services such as installing drainages and leveling pools.