House settling can often be a big issue, especially in places where the ground is soft and buildings are prone to sink over long periods of time. When the foundation settles, there is sometimes a chance that it will crack or break over time. Additionally, natural events such as earthquakes or even flooding can cause damage.
Foundation damage can potentially be dangerous for you and anyone living inside the house. The signs can be subtle and can go unnoticed altogether. The following are just a few of these signs that you should look out for so you can get foundation repair before it turns into a nasty issue.
1. The Foundation
The first place to look for this kind of damage will be within the foundation itself as it can often lead to the quickest diagnosis that will merit calling a contractor to come out and inspect your home. The foremost sign is cracking, especially towards the middle of the structure. These cracks can be all the way through the exposed pavement or only partial, depending on the extent of the settling issue.
If you have a basement, it will make this inspection much easier since the basement is essentially built into the foundation. When inside your basement, you should look for the usual cracks, but also signs of water leaking such as damp spots or mold. Leakages can be an easy sign that water is seeping through the normally watertight foundation and merits foundation repair.
One of the most common and noticeable signs of settling is a change to the doorways in your house. First off, doors will be much harder to open and close when the foundation has begun to settle. In addition, the doorknob may not line up, causing you to have to lift the handle in order to make sure it shuts fully.
The door frame itself may be cracked as well. It is most common that cracks will appear in the corners where the wood has been glued together. These cracks will either be a separation or an actual zig-zag crack that goes up from corner to corner.
Wall damage can sometimes be a sign that the foundation has become damaged, although this is not always the case. Cracks in your walls will often crawl into corners up into the ceiling, however these may be cosmetic. The best way to diagnose whether or not wall damage is a symptom of foundation damage is if it occurs in conjunction with other signs of foundation damage.
The above are just three of the most common signs that your foundation may be damaged. However, it should be noted that these signs are not a sure diagnosis, but rather the warning signs of possible damage to your foundation. In order to more accurately figure out whether or not your house’s foundation has become damaged, you will have to consult a contractor who will be able to tell you if foundation repair will be necessary to save your home.