Foundation settlement is the gradual sinking of a foundation due to factors like soil compaction, moisture changes in the soil, or natural disasters. Standard foundation settling is minimal and a natural response to environmental changes, but significant shifts require professional intervention.
Foundation settlement can cause extensive structural problems in your home or commercial building. Discover the early signs of foundation settlement so you can take timely action.
Sometimes, cracks in your building’s walls indicate a settling foundation. Generally, surface-level cracks are harmless, and you can make minor cosmetic repairs to the wall.
Wall cracks may be vertical, horizontal, or stair-step, which means they travel diagonally across the wall. Horizontal cracks often indicate foundation problems, whereas vertical cracks are typically less serious.
You may see stair-step cracks on cinder block foundations and exterior brick walls. They’re a common indication of foundation problems and require immediate attention. Call a foundation repair company to address disconcerting wall cracks in your home or business.
Gaps In and Around Window and Door Frames
Gaps in window and door frames are another early sign of foundation settlement. The shifting foundation may cause window casings, door frames, and trims, such as baseboards, to pull away from the walls.
A single gap in one localized area, such as one corner of a door frame, isn’t necessarily an indicator of a settling foundation. Such openings may be due to materials naturally expanding and contracting from changes in humidity. But if you notice substantial breaks or multiple gaps, call for a foundation inspection.
Tip: Pay Attention to Sticking Windows and Doors
You may not always notice gaps forming in your door and window frames. However, if opening and closing your windows and doors becomes more difficult, you may have a settling foundation.
Sagging and Uneven Floors
Sagging, dipping, and bowing floors usually require foundation repair. Concrete slab floors crack and settle when the underlying soil settles, shrinks, or washes away.
Uneven floors in outdoor structures, such as porches and decks, may also indicate foundation settlement. If you notice changes in the level of your flooring, have your home or commercial building inspected before the problem worsens.
Don’t ignore wall cracks, gaps in window and door frames, or uneven floors. The earlier you detect and address foundation settlement, the easier the necessary repairs will be. Call URETEK ICR Gulf Coast for friendly, professional service in the greater Houston area.