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It doesn’t take hiring a structural engineer or a foundation contractor to tell you if you have a sinking foundation. There are some obvious signs you can check for yourself:

  • If you have block walls in your basement you will notice cracks in the mortar joints that resemble steps.
  • You may find doors that don’t close properly of that have excessive gaps between the door and door jams.
  • Usually you’ll find cracks in the slab floor of the basement and the floor will slope, as well the floor on the main level above.
  • Windows will not close properly.  They seem to stick.  This means the walls are flexing.
  • Look for cracks in the walls in the upper levels of the house.

When a house’ foundation settles it is typically because of movement of the building or shifting and compacting of the soil. Soil will shift naturally due to changes in the moisture content of the soil and changes in environmental conditions around the building/ house such as seasonal changes. This is common and builders account for this when building.  When a new home settles it may develop small cracks in the foundation, floor slab and poured walls. This is natural and expected.

Foundation problems can also occur because of other reasons such as when the soil quickly becomes unnaturally wet during a plumbing issue or from over watering the plants surrounding the house and also during excessive raining which may cause floods and all can cause foundation floor heaving.

A sinking foundation, if not caught early enough, can cost a home owner thousands of dollars in repairs! Make yourself familiar with your basement and at the first signs of foundation problems such as a sinking foundation, call a foundation repair expert that offers free, on site evaluations. It’s a good idea to get a couple evaluations.  Better Basements in Des Moines services central Iowa and will perform a thorough evaluation at no cost to home owners.

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