Tuesday, May 21st, 2013 by Jim Laven
It takes a long, long time for a home to become uninhabitable. Years of rot and decay add up and damage your walls, ruin your floor joists, and destroy other elements essential to a stable home – including your foundation. And all of this can eventually add up to a big loss for homeowners who neglect to get repairs done when they need them. So what are some signs you should look for if you’re worried about the structural integrity of your home?
1. Cracks in the foundation. One of the foundation problems Innovative’s experts see most often is cracks in a home’s foundation – most commonly staircase cracking, like in the foundation shown above. This problem is a sure sign that your foundation walls have begun to bow inward. When the weight of the soil pushing against your foundation outside your home isn’t met with equal force from the inside, foundation walls tend to bow.
Not only do these growing cracks allow water to enter your basement – which can cause extensive damage to your storage, not to mention the spread of mold – but they can also, over time, make your home a liability.
2. Cracks in drywall. Just like cracks in the foundation wall, drywall cracks tend to be early signs that something is amiss with your foundation. Since drywall is actually in a home’s living space, homeowners are more likely to notice it – and do something about it – right away.
Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners choose to repair the crack instead of address the deeper problem. Maybe they’re not aware that there is a deeper problem, but foundation cracks are often a sign that something is going on below the home, in the foundation. More specifically, house settling – often caused by drought – is a common cause for cracks in upstairs drywall.
3. Uneven floors. Uneven floors are another common sign of settling caused by drought. This is a much more subtle change than cracks in the drywall, so if you want to check your home for foundation issues, you’ll have to play close attention to your uneven floors.
Or you can just have Innovative Basement Authority do a thorough check of your home and foundation – especially if you do find uneven floors or any of the other more noticeable signs of foundation issues.
4. Hard-to-open windows and doors. When you have windows and doors that frequently jam, you know you have a problem on your hands. This is a sign that – much like the uneven floors and drywall cracks mentioned above – something is going on underneath your home, and that something is probably your foundation settling. So what do you do?
Your best bet is not addressing the annoyance of non-functioning windows and doors and being done with it, as some homeowners do. Sure, it’s a cheaper method, but it may cost you in long-term damages to your home due to underlying problems you haven’t addressed. You have to treat the cause, not the symptom.
5. Cracks in the foundation slab. One of the most worrying things that can happen to your home is heaving. Heaving occurs when the soil under your foundation begins to expand. Expansion can happen after heavy rains, when you have a plumbing leak, when the ground freezes, or when you have expansive soil under your home. The effect is that the foundation or slab of your basement bows upward, causing instability in your home.
You’ll know your home is heaving when you notice cracks in the foundation or slab in your basement. When these cracks expand even more – which they will, if you don’t get your problem taken care of – your basement will be vulnerable to flooding.
What can you do if you notice any of these signs of foundation problems in your home? The best thing to do is called a trustworthy foundation repair expert like Innovative Basement Authority. With decades in the business, we know what it takes to solve any foundation problem, no matter how big or small. We have a variety of effective solutions – our wall anchors or our IntelliBrace system to stabilize bowing walls; our helical, slab, and push piers to reverse foundation settling; and more – that will help you improve the structural stability of your home.
So whether you think your foundation is beyond repair (it’s not!) or your problem isn’t big enough to pose a problem (all small problems turn into big problems down the line), Innovative can help. Not convinced? Just give us a call to schedule your free estimate!
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