There’s nothing worse than purchasing a home, only to realize the foundation has water damage. Because concrete is porous, excess water can fill into the pores, making its way into the foundation of your home and degrading concrete along the way. There are several ways the foundation of your home can become damaged and can seemingly go unnoticed over time. This is especially true if there aren’t any glaringly obvious signs.
Before you purchase a home, it’s vital to know what to look for to ensure you won’t have foundation issues presently or down the road. Here are some less obvious signs of foundation damage homeowners and realtors might miss if they aren’t careful.
While cracks in the foundation might be an obvious sign of damage to a foundation, they can sometimes go unnoticed. This can be especially true if the crack is very small or potentially hidden behind landscaping. Most of the time, cracks are a very good indicator the foundation has water damage and they can occur both inside and outside of the home.
However, it’s important to keep in mind, due to being exposed to the elements constantly, cracks in concrete foundations can be common and aren’t always a major concern, especially in the first few years of your home being built. How do you know what cracks to look out for? Horizontal cracks on exterior walls can be a sign of significant structural damage. If you notice a lot of horizontal cracks around the exterior of the house, it might be time to consult a foundation repair professional.
Many times, water damage isn’t plain to see. For example, your soil can become displaced under your foundation and over time lead to damage. If the foundation becomes cracked it will move with the seasons and might cause slab upheaval (when the slab moves upward). Generally, this will impact the perimeter of your concrete slab, however, it can cause your interior walls to become warped, as well.
This can be quite dangerous, especially if the warped wall is load-bearing. When the wall warps it will become unstable, potentially causing a collapse. It can be hard to spot leaning walls on your own, especially if you’ve been living in your home for a long time. If you suspect your walls have warped due to water damage to your foundation, consult a professional immediately.
Even if everything looks fine from the outside, the most overlooked signs of foundation water damage happen inside the home. Another sign to look out for in the case of water damage to your foundation is uneven floors. If you’ve noticed your floors aren’t level, sagging, bowing, or dipping, this might be a sign of damage. Home settling is a normal occurrence and can create mildly uneven floors, but if your floors have become uneven seemingly overnight, it might be a sign of a more significant problem.
If you notice your doors are sticking or your windows aren’t working properly, this too could be a sign of foundation damage. When your foundation has shifted, it can warp your walls (as mentioned above), causing your doors and windows to misbehave or form gaps. This can happen with exterior or interior doors. However, one thing to note is that doors can misbehave due to high humidity, especially after heavy rain or flooding. But if you’re noticing other signs of foundation problems, it’s probably not the humidity.
When the doors and windows in your home don’t work properly, it can cause a lot of problems—air leaking, security issues, moisture problems. If you suspect water damage to your foundation is the underlying cause, don’t let the problem escalate, and call an experienced foundation professional. If you don’t take care of the issue quickly, it can lead to extensive damage to your home down the road.
Improper Drainage and Landscaping
Last, but certainly not least, improper drainage and landscaping can significantly contribute to water damage to your foundation. Due to a highly expansive clay underneath and surrounding most Texas homes, there is the potential for foundation damage. The soil shrinks and swells, absorbing and losing moisture through the changing seasons.
Often, due to droughts, extreme shrinking can cause foundations to fail. However, other times of the year bring the opposite problem. Soil can expand and contract when there is too much or too little water present, causing your foundation to either sink or heave. If you believe your foundation has sustained water damage, it may be time to find an experienced foundation repair contractor.
What Should You Do Next?
If you believe your home’s foundation has sustained significant water damage, it’s time to contact Perma-Pier Foundation Repair of Texas. The health of your foundation is vital to your home. At Perma-Pier, we’re proud to offer long-term foundation repair solutions. If you’re in need of high-quality, professional foundation repair, schedule an evaluation today—we look forward to serving you!