The foundation is a critical element that ensures the stability and structural integrity of your home. However, foundation issues can creep up over time and, if left unaddressed, will compound into costly repairs. Recognizing foundation issue warning signs early on is crucial for preserving the longevity and safety of your home.
Explore eight red flags you should look out for and act on quickly below.
#1: Uneven, Bowed, or Cracked Floors
Uneven, bowed, or cracked floors often result from shifts in the soil underneath your home, causing the foundation to settle unevenly. While minor floor cracks can be due to normal house settling, noticeable patterns of cracks or a visibly uneven floor can indicate serious foundation problems. Bowed floors are particularly concerning as this shows the foundation cannot evenly support the home’s weight.
#2: Noisy or Creaking Floors
As your home’s foundation settles, it can cause floorboards to shift or warp, resulting in creaking noises when walked upon. While some noise is normal in older homes or homes with wooden floors, consistent or increasing creaking could indicate a foundation problem. The issue is particularly concerning if these noises are new, getting louder, or accompanied by other warning signs such as cracks or uneven floors.
#3: Sticking Doors and Windows
Over time, as the foundation of your home shifts due to soil changes or other factors, it can lead to misaligned door frames and window sills. This misalignment often results in doors and windows that “stick.” While temperature and humidity changes can also cause this, noticing this issue persistently or in conjunction with other signs on this list might point toward a foundation problem.
#4: Gaps Between Exterior Windows and Walls
When your home’s foundation shifts or settles unevenly, it can cause the walls to move, resulting in gaps between them and the windows, appearing as a separation between the window frame and the siding or brick of your house. Regularly inspecting the outside of your home for such gaps is critical because they can become entry points for moisture and pests and indicate serious structural issues.
#5: Cracked or Bowed Drywall
Drywall is typically rigid and can crack when the foundation shifts or settles. The cracks can appear over doors, windows, or where walls meet ceilings — and could be small hairline cracks or more significant, noticeable ones. Bowed drywall, on the other hand, occurs when the wall begins to curve or bend inward or outward, resulting from the soil pushing against the foundation or the foundation sinking.
#6: Cracked Exterior Walls or Siding
Cracks in exterior walls or siding can appear in various materials, including brick, cinderblock, or other types of siding, and are typically characterized by a zigzag or stair-step pattern. The shifting or settling of a home’s foundation can cause these materials to crack or separate along their bonded lines, marring the aesthetic of your home and signifying serious foundational damage.
#7: Stuck Doors and Windows
If doors and windows that used to operate smoothly begin to fail to open or close properly, it might also be due to a shifting foundation. The movement can make the frames misaligned, making it difficult for doors and windows to fit as they initially did. These foundation issue warning signs could also manifest as visible gaps around the top and bottom when the door or window is closed.
#8: Mildew Smell in Basement or Crawl Space
A persistent mildew smell in basements or crawl spaces is typically a sign of unwanted moisture, often caused by water seeping through foundation cracks. Over time, this damp environment becomes a breeding ground for mold and mildew, contributing to the unpleasant smell. This problem affects the air quality in your home and can exacerbate foundation issues.
Turn to Summit Basement Company for Professional Foundation Repair Services
Foundation issues make your home dangerous and vulnerable to many problems. If you notice foundation issue warning signs around your home, prompt action is necessary to prevent further damage.
Summit Basement Company offers professional foundation repair services to help stabilize and restore the structural integrity of your home. Our team of experts will conduct a thorough inspection, identify the underlying issues, and provide personalized solutions tailored to your specific needs.
With our expertise and state-of-the-art equipment, we can address any foundation issue with precision and efficiency. Protect your home and foundation by contacting Summit Basement Company today!