Your home is one of your most valuable assets. The thought of having foundation issues can cause a lot of stress and worry, as these types of problems can be costly to repair. If your house does have foundation damage, putting off an inspection or repairs will only lead to more problems down the road as these problems do not go away, they only get worse with time.
So what are some common signs of foundation problems in a home? Use our checklist below to help determine whether you need to have your home’s foundation inspected.
Cracks in the Sheetrock
If you notice cracks in sheetrock walls or ceilings, it could be an indication that your home has experienced some shifting or foundation settlement. The cracks can be vertical or horizontal, and they often appear near doors and windows. If you have sheetrock cracks on only one side of the home, your foundation may be settling on one side or corner.
Uneven or Sloping Floors
Uneven or sloping floors are also a telltale sign that the support system under your home may need repair. The problem could be with wood rot in the beams or joists, or it could indicate that there is not enough support in the floor joists, allowing the floor to sag. Soil settlement could also play a role. If the soil under one or more footers has compacted or settled, it’s possible that there is a gap between the footing and foundation, which would allow the flooring system to sag.
Sticking Windows or Doors
If you have windows or doors that stick or don’t close properly, that could indicate foundation issues in your home. In order to work properly, doors and windows should be level and straight. If there is foundation settlement near the doors and windows, the angles will shift and no longer be straight, leaving windows and doors to stick when opening or closing, or not close properly.
Gaps Around Windows or Doors
Similar to sticking windows and doors, if you notice gaps around windows and doors, particularly if they have not always been there, it is likely that there has been some foundation movement or shifting. Provided they were installed properly, the windows and doors in your home should be straight and square. A gap around the window or door is a telltale sign that something has caused the framing to become misaligned.
Baseboards or Cabinetry Pulling Away From the Wall
If you notice that the baseboards, crown molding, or cabinetry in your home is pulling away from the wall, resulting in gaps, that is also a sign that your home’s foundation could have some structural damage or issues.
Cracks in the Foundation
Cracks in the foundation itself is probably one of the most clear indications of a problem. Small hairline cracks here and there isn’t cause for too much concern, but if you notice large cracks, more than ¼ inch, in the mortar or in the masonry itself, you should have the foundation inspected. Often stair-step cracks in brick or cinder block walls are also a clear sign of foundation trouble.
Uneven or Sagging Roofline
A sagging or uneven roofline is caused by a lack of support in the roof framing or rafters. Sometimes the issue is caused by broken trusses or rafters, but it can also be a sign of foundation settlement or shifting. It is important to enlist the help of a professional to determine the exact cause of the sagging roofline so you can address the problem.
Leaning or Damaged Chimney
If you notice your home’s chimney leaning or appearing crooked, or if it has pulled away from your house, you need to determine the cause of the problem in order to address it right away. An unstable chimney is a safety hazard, both from risk of collapse and also from the risk of chimney fires. A number of causes can result in a leaning or damaged chimney, but foundation problems are generally the most common culprit. Perhaps the footing under the chimney isn’t strong enough to hold it, or maybe the soil around the footing has shifted, causing it to sink. Whatever the cause, chimney repairs are a job best left to professionals.
If you notice any of the issues above in your home and think you may have foundation problems, it’s best to contact a foundation company or structural engineer to inspect the foundation. Foundation repair specialists can help you decide on a repair plan before the problems become worse.
Contact HydroHelp911 for Free Foundation Inspection
HydroHelp911 is available to homeowners in the Charlotte, North Carolina region for a free foundation inspection. We’ll provide an accurate estimate and communicate with you throughout the repair process, including after the project is complete. No matter what’s wrong with your foundation, our team of foundation repair experts use high-quality equipment and techniques to quickly and effectively fix your home.
Learn more about our foundation repair services to see how our reliable experts can improve your structure. You can also give us a call at 704-741-9737 to schedule your free foundation inspection.