Foundations are a funny thing. They are an element of your home you may likely never see, yet they are the most important structural entity of your entire house. Your foundation is the leg your home stands on, so its integrity carries a vast amount of weight (both literally and figuratively). Many homes on the East Coast and here in Richmond are aging and should be checked for foundational issues. Foundation problems can lead to an onslaught of home concerns if not dealt with, so it is imperative to know the signs that indicate your foundation needs help.
What Causes Foundation Problems
Moisture is the biggest factor affecting your foundation. Remember, your foundation is a large slab sitting atop soil supporting the weight of your home. All is fine and dandy as long as that soil remains in place. However, as the soil under your home becomes damp, it begins to expand. Then as it dries back out again, it contracts.
Not every portion of soil surrounding your slab receives the same amount of moisture or retains that moisture the same way. This creates movement in the soil which can affect the way your slab lies. This is called settling. Settling causes uneven floors in your home and should be repaired immediately to prevent other structural issues.
Your foundation can also be damaged from movement caused by things completely out of your control, such as an earthquake. Most foundations are built with the possibilities of such phenomena in mind, but issues can still occur. And sometimes, your foundation may have problems simply due to a poor job by the contractor.
But no matter the cause, certain foundation issues can lead to costly repairs in the long run, while catching signs of foundation problems early on could save you money. Here are some indications your home might need a foundation repair.
1. Interior Cracks
One of the most noticeable signs is interior cracking. If you notice cracks forming in the dry wall around joints or around windows and door frames, you may have a foundation problem. Don’t just brush off the formation of these cracks. They may be your home’s way of warning you about serious problems.
2. Uneven Floors
If you start to notice your floors becoming unlevel, it’s a clear sign of a foundation problem. You may begin to feel a shift in the floor’s evenness as you walk. To test this theory, drop a marble onto your floor. The faster it rolls to a wall, the more unlevel your floor is.
3. Sticky Windows and Doors
Settling can also affect your windows and doors. As your floors become uneven, your doors and windows may shift slightly, making them difficult to open and close. When this becomes the case, it is likely due to an uneven settling of your foundation. Call a professional for a consultation immediately.
4. Cracks in the Slab or Siding
At times, you can get a glimpse of the foundation or notice areas of slab in your garage or basement. Cracks can be the first indication that something is wrong with your foundation. If the slab has cracked, your foundation’s integrity has been compromised and water and further foundation movement can cause greater issues. This can be especially noticeable in concrete flooring.
The same goes for your siding. If you notice cracks on your home’s exterior, it’s most likely the result of foundation issues. If you have a brick home, you can also notice uneven settling by checking that the mortar is still level. It does not have to be cracked. The seams may slowly stop aligning. This also indicates foundation shifting.
5. Gaping Molding
With foundational movement, your interior molding may begin to gape away from your walls. It could also begin to separate from your ceiling. In either case, something is wrong. And it is likely your foundation. However, these separations can occur in more places than molding. If you notice wall to floor separation or fireplace to ceiling separation, you likely need a foundation repair.
Regaining a Solid Foundation
When you notice your home’s warning signs, don’t ignore them. It’s never a wise idea to wait on a foundation repair. Give our team at Dependable Home Services a call at (804) 334-6839. We provide seamless foundation repairs, and our services are backed by the most comprehensive warranty in the industry. Our foundation repairs can save you big money down the road.