The foundation of your home is vitally important to its structural integrity. Some homeowners keep a close watch on their foundation taking note of every little crack. Or they may choose to ignore their foundation, unaware of the telltale signs of a foundation in need of repair. It’s important to deal with foundation issues as soon as they occur, but how do you know when to call the professionals? Here are 5 signs that your foundation might need repair.
Cracks are perhaps the most obvious sign that your foundation needs repair, but not every crack means dire circumstances for your foundation. Small, vertical cracks generally indicate a non-structural issue but should be watched closely. Large vertical cracks extending deep into the ground are evidence of structural issues and can weaken the integrity of the entire house. Horizontal cracking is a result of groundwater pressure and the soil pulling away from the foundation. While small cracks are expected with any foundation, excessive cracking or cracks over one inch long should be checked by a professional.
Misaligned Doors & Windows
Door and window misalignment is a key sign of troubles with your foundation. You may notice your doors are crooked within the frame or your windows get stuck as you open and close them. You could see cracks in the drywall around the corners of door and window frames. There may also be gaps surrounding doors and windows where caulking has pulled away from the frame. Normal foundation settling can cause misalignment, cracks, and gaps, but it could also indicate a more serious problem. Measure gaps and cracks and call a foundation specialist if they continue to widen.
Bowed Basement Walls
Whether your basement is finished or unfinished, if you see a leaning or bulging basement wall, you need to call for foundation repair quickly. A bowed basement wall occurs when soil becomes oversaturated with water and pushes against the foundation and walls. As it dries, the soil pulls away, leaving basement walls weak and subject to bowing. At B-Level, we can repair your bowed basement wall with steel beams, block wall replacement, and more. Choosing the correct fix for your bowed basement wall is critical to ensuring the continued integrity of your home.
If your chimney is leaning, sinking, or pulling away from your walls or roof, you may have foundation issues that need addressing. Homeowners could see gaps forming between the house and chimney as it sinks and leans. It can be tempting to fill these cracks with foam or caulking and call it a done job, but these repairs are temporary and may be ignoring serious signs of foundation structural issues. If you have a leaning chimney, call a foundation repair specialist to check your foundation for further issues.
Sinking or Sloping Floors
As the foundation naturally settles, it’s common for your floor to sink slightly. However, a large and uneven drop that causes your floor to slope significantly can be indicative of a larger foundation issue. Serious foundation repair is most likely needed if the floor slopes more than one inch every 15-20 feet. This can be difficult to measure on your own. A foundation specialist can help determine the severity of your sloping floors and recommend solutions for uneven foundation settling.
Whether you pay close attention to your foundation or you’re just now noticing issues, it’s never a bad idea to call a foundation specialist like the team at B-Level. Catching foundation issues early can avoid costly and lengthy repairs in your future. If you suspect you have a foundation issue, call B-Level today.