The First Signs of Foundation Problems (by foundation experts)

January 5, 2023

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You must know the first signs of potential foundation problems as a homeowner. Fixing foundation issues can be costly and time-consuming, so catching them early is critical. Fortunately, there are a few key indicators that foundation experts can use to spot foundation issues before they become more serious. We'll discuss the first signs of foundation issues from the perspective of experienced foundation professionals. From small cracks in the walls to uneven floors, we'll look at what to watch for and why. 

What're the First Signs of Foundation Issues?

Sinking or Settling

When it comes to foundation problems, the first signs of trouble are often sinking or settling. This is when the foundation of a structure begins to drop or lower unevenly due to structural weakness or inadequate support. This can lead to cracks in walls, doors, windows sticking, and other issues that indicate something is wrong with the foundation.

If you see signs of sinking or settling, it's essential to have a professional foundation expert inspect your home as soon as possible. They can assess the severity of the problem and recommend the best solution. Standard solutions may include installing piers or helical anchors to support the structure's weight, underpinning with concrete, or other strategies.

It's also important to remember that these signs may not be visible right away. In many cases, the foundation could weaken without any outward indications until there's an obvious problem. So regular foundation inspections are essential – they can help detect potential issues before they become serious.

With prompt action and the help of a professional, any foundation problems can be corrected quickly and easily. Taking care of your foundation now can save you time, money, and headaches in the future!

first signs of foundation issues

Wall/Ceiling Cracks

Regarding foundation problems, wall and ceiling cracks are one of the first signs you need to be aware of. The severity of these cracks can vary, ranging from small surface cracks to significant and more severe structural fractures. If you notice any gaps in your walls or ceilings, it is crucial to have them evaluated by a foundation expert to determine the cause and necessary repairs.

One of the most common wall and ceiling cracks is a stair-step crack. This crack usually starts at a window or door frame and follows the wall up in a V shape, like a staircase. These stair-step cracks typically indicate an underlying structural problem, such as foundation movement, which should be addressed promptly.

Not all wall and ceiling cracks are signs of foundation problems; some may be caused by normal settling or everyday wear and tear. However, if you notice any cracks in your walls or ceilings, it is best to avoid them and have them evaluated by a foundation expert. Doing so will help ensure that your home's foundation remains structurally sound for many years.

cracks in a wall

Gaps Around Doors or Windows

Are you noticing gaps around doors or windows in your home? This could be a sign of serious foundation problems. Gaps can form when the soil underneath the foundation shifts, causing the structure to settle unevenly.

These gaps can be easily seen and felt around windows and doors. You may notice that they are wider at the top than the bottom or don't close properly. If left unchecked, these gaps can allow water and air to enter your home, causing damage to your walls and flooring.

If you notice any gaps around windows or doors, it's important to have your foundation checked right away by a foundation expert. They will be able to assess the severity of the issue and recommend the best course of action. Depending on the extent of the problem, they may suggest structural repairs, soil stabilization, or even replacement of the foundation.

Don't ignore gaps around your windows or doors – they could indicate more severe foundation problems. Instead, contact a foundation expert as soon as possible to get an accurate assessment and start addressing any potential issues before they worsen.

gaps around door not closing 

Sloping Floors

Do you think you may have a foundation issue? The first signs of a possible foundation problem are often subtle but can become more pronounced over time. Sloping floors can be one of the most noticeable signs of an underlying issue with your foundation.

If you notice sloping floors in your home, it's best to have them inspected by a foundation expert. They can determine whether the cause is a foundation problem or something else. If a foundation issue is present, it's essential to have it fixed as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the structure of your home.

crawl space repair needed for sloping floors

Foundation Repairs

When it comes to home foundations, the earlier you catch and address potential issues, the better. If left unchecked, minor foundation issues can quickly turn into significant problems that can be costly to repair and negatively impact your home's safety and stability.

Most homeowners will pay around $4,911 to repair foundation issues. However, this number will fluctuate based on the size, scope, and severity of the problem being addressed.

Common foundation repair methods can include

  • Drainage Systems: Installing drainage systems underneath the concrete slabs can help reduce water pressure from below and stop moisture from entering through cracks in the walls.
  • Foundation Support Wall: Building a wall adjacent to an existing structure's foundation can provide additional support for its weight by transferring some of its load onto this new wall. The higher the difficulty in making this modification, the more expensive it will be to install one.
  • Filling Holes or Cracks: Patching holes or cracks with cement provides temporary protection until permanent repairs are made at another time.
  • Beam Installation: A beam is placed under an existing floor slab as part of a renovation project or as a standalone installation that supports an entire house structure above ground level. The higher degree of difficulty in installing beams under the slab increases the cost because they require excavation work and heavy machinery before they are put into place.

Give our team at NB Foundation Repair Experts! Our foundation repair contractors have the expertise necessary to complete the job.

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