Spotting Foundation Issues
One of the most expensive types of home repair includes foundation issues which can cost as much as tens of thousands of dollars. The cost may increase if the issue has also caused damage to other parts of the home. The best way to minimize expense is through preventative home maintenance, and knowing how to spot those foundation issues early. Just because you might not be able to see cracks, doesn’t mean they aren’t there or in the process of forming. This can be spotted by paying attention to structures in the home that can be damaged from an existing foundation issue.
Windows and Doors
If you notice that a few of your doors or windows are having trouble opening or closing, it may be a sign of a foundation issue. The shape of the frames may become distorted when an unstable foundation begins to shift, making it difficult to open and close your doors and windows.
Check areas for recurring mold around the corners of windows and walls for any cracks in the foundation that may be causing water to leak in. Also, check for gaps between windows and doors that may be caused by a shifting foundation. That can also be a cause for more structural damage in the future.
Ceilings, Walls, and Floors
A warped ceiling and slanted floors are one of the larger signs of foundation problems. When the foundation shifts, it will either contract or pull apart the walls and support beams, causing the weight of the home to be uneven. You can use a level to continually monitor the slope. If you notice a continual change, you may need to call in a professional.
Examine your walls for any signs they might begin to bow, or nails frequently popping out of the drywall. Both are a sign of the foundation shifting, but the nails popping out caused by wall movement could be a sign of bigger issues.
Most of the time, blocked gutters can be the reason for foundation issues in the basement. They will overflow causing cracks in the foundation and basement walls to leak. If your basement or crawlspace is damp and smells like mildew, check the gutters. If you’re still having issues with a damp basement, the problem could be a plumbing issue or you may need to get a professional to discover the source.
Gutters and Downspouts
Keep your gutters and downspouts clean and working! This is surprisingly one of the biggest reasons for completely unnecessary foundation issues. If you operate with the idea that you should keep standing water away from your foundation you will generally keep it protected from water issues. When water saturates the soil under and around your footings it can cause differential settlement which will cause many issues in your home. When your gutters or downspouts get plugged they spill over the edges of the gutters and your roof and the water pools directly along your foundation – exactly where you do not want it. When they work properly, all water which touches your roof will be discharged several feet away from your house by the various downspout extensions or other drainage mechanisms.
Keep them clean!
Forensic Engineering Specialists
Engineering Specialists Inc. has nearly 30 years of field experience in analyzing the damage to residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. We can work on any project in any state, nationwide. When you or your business needs to confirm the extent of damage or how to correct a problem, email us at email@example.com or call us, toll-free, at (877) 559-4010.