There is really no scenario in which you should ignore issues with your home’s foundation. The foundation is what your house is built on, meaning any issues left unresolved may jeopardize your home’s structural integrity.
Some might argue that if they are planning to move out of the house as soon as possible, they don’t need to concern themselves with the foundation. Some even believe it will be harder to sell a home if it has foundation repairs — this is not the case. In fact, banks typically don’t lend on homes with foundation issues and potential buyers will be much more inclined to purchase a home that has a repaired foundation instead of one that needs repairs.
So in most cases, foundation repairs are worth the expense, but how can you tell if your house needs repairs to its foundation?
What You Shouldn’t Ignore
Unfortunately, many signs of foundation issues may be overlooked at first because they seem harmless. Sometimes it may take the experienced eye of a professional to get to the root of the issue, but there are certain things to look out for.
Exterior cracks on the outer wall or steps that are finer and small should not indicate any serious problem. However, larger cracks that appear in a zigzag pattern may be indicative of an issue with the foundation. Bricks that are cracked or protrude from the wall should be checked.
Interior sheetrock cracks that run the height of the wall and appear in a zigzag pattern are causes for concern. Contact a contractor soon if you notice wallpaper pulling away from the wall or cracks on the junction of the wall and ceiling.
Most homes shift and develop small changes as they age, but if you notice a door in your home that doesn’t line up with the square at all, your home’s foundation should be checked. Sometimes the floors of an otherwise structurally sound home slope slightly, but if the gradient of the floor is more than one or two inches for every 15 feet, you should seek out a professional to assess your home’s foundation. Bouncing floors can also be a sign of rotten wood, which can lead to any number of other issues in your home. If your floors feel like trampolines, consult a professional as soon as possible.
Tile cracks may be benign. Though tile is a strong material, it is also brittle and cracks easily. However, if you begin to notice too many cracks in the tile in your kitchen or bathroom, you should get a second opinion as it could indicate foundation problems.
Rotten wood can be a sign of many issues in your home, none of which should be ignored. If your basement or crawlspace is not waterproofed, if you have suffered a pest problem, or if you have experienced flooding, you may be at risk of your home’s piers and beams rotting and damaging your foundation.
It’s common for nails to pop out of drywall over time and should not be cause for worry on a small scale. However, if the issue spans throughout your whole house you may have a problem with your foundation.
An expansion joint is installed in structures to account for natural shifts in the earth, temperature changes, and humidity. A damaged foundation can cause a failure of the expansion joint which will lead to widespread cracking throughout the house.
In the worst-case scenario, you may notice that a wall is actually pulling away from the house. This is dangerous and could lead to the wall collapsing entirely, so contact a professional right away if you notice this.
Your home’s foundation is vital to both the safety of your home as well as its value. There are so many reasons to ensure your foundation is healthy, so don’t wait until it’s too late. If you’re in the surrounding Richmond area, schedule a free virtual consultation with us today and take your home’s value into your own hands!