Homeowners often don’t give their roof, siding, or foundation a second thought— until something is wrong. Did you know that 1 in 4 homes experience some form of “structural distress” due to foundation issues? And 5% of those will suffer more severe structural problems requiring a total foundation replacement. This must be why foundation problems are a deal breaker for people buying new homes.
So whether you’re in the market for a new home or have been in your house for some time, being armed with the knowledge of these common foundation issues can help prevent costly issues down the road.
Common Symptoms You Didn’t Know Were Foundation Problems
Foundation issues can sometimes be silent and invisible unless you know what you’re looking for. And those creaky floors being scoffed off as the “house settling”? They probably warrant a closer look because a house should finish settling after the first two years of being built.
1) Bouncy or Sagging Floors
Do you feel like you’re on a trampoline when walking through your home? Bouncy or saggy floors are usually indicative of a foundation issue. The main reason for this could be that the beams or girders supporting your floor have weakened due to water damage or rot.
2) Cracked Tiles
If you have floor tiles or backsplash tiles and notice them cracking or looking unaligned, it could be related to a sagging foundation. Of course, tiles can also crack due to impact or poor installation, but it is worth a closer look.
3) Cracks in the Drywall
One of the more common signs of foundation problems is cracks in the drywall. These cracks can appear on the ceiling, walls, or floor. And they are often diagonal, which is different from small cracks that appear due to foundation settling (which are usually horizontal).
4) Damp Crawl Space or Basement
If you have a damp or musty-smelling crawl space or basement, it’s probably due to water seepage. Too much moisture in the soil around your foundation can lead to hydrostatic pressure, which forces water through these foundation cracks.
5) Door or Window Frames Pulling Away From the Wall
If you notice your doors or windows are no longer fitting correctly in their frames, it’s a red flag that something is off with your foundation. The weight of your home is being unevenly distributed, which is causing the window or door frames to pull away or come loose.
6) Doors and Windows Sticking
Similarly, a window or door “sticking” may not have anything to do with the door or window itself. It’s likely more related to your uneven foundation, and reframing the windows may not resolve the issue.
7) Drainage Problems
If you’re noticing pooling water around your home’s foundation after a rainstorm, it could be related to a poor gutter system, but more often, it will be a foundation issue. When the soil around your home is too saturated, it will cause water to seep into your basement or crawl space which is a big problem.
8) Exterior Wall Cracks
Do you see cracks in your brickwork or siding? These are often caused by the same thing as cracks in your drywall— an uneven foundation. When your foundation settles or moves, it will also cause the exterior walls to crack. This is often the most easily spotted sign of foundation problems and something prospective home buyers notice that could turn them off from buying the home.
9) Gaps Behind Countertops or Cabinets
If you notice gaps appearing between your countertops or cabinets and the wall, this is a sign that your home is settling or moving. When your foundation settles, it will also cause the upper floors to settle, which can lead to cracks and gaps. This can be common in newer-built homes and older homes that are beginning to sink.
10) Sinking Ground
When the ground sinks, it can put pressure on your foundation and cause it to settle or crack. This is often caused by inadequate foundation drainage around the home.
11) Uneven Floors
Have you ever sat in a rolling office chair at home, and it starts sliding away? Or maybe you’ve spilled some water, and it immediately flows to the corner of the room? We hate to say it, but your floors are probably uneven from a foundation issue. The problem could be with the beams or girders that are supporting the floor, which can become weakened due to water damage or rot.
12) Warped Siding or Walls
When your home’s foundation settles, it can cause the exterior walls to warp or bow. This is often most noticeable with wood siding, but you may also see it with brick or stone exteriors as well. If you notice this issue, it’s best to get an inspection ASAP because the warping could also be from trapped water, causing bubbling and damage underneath your home’s siding and walls.
13) Weeds Near the House
You may not think that weeds could be an indication of a foundation problem, but they actually can be. If you notice an abundance of weeds near your home’s foundation, it could be because there is excess moisture in the soil, which is a sign of drainage issues. Water seepage can cause hydrostatic pressure, which forces water through cracks in your foundation.
Trust Perma Pier to Remedy Your Foundation Issues
With over 30,000 foundation repairs, the Perma Pier team has seen it all. We’re the foundation experts, so no matter what issue you’re having, we can help. We offer free inspections and professional foundation repair to home and business owners across Texas, so if you think you might have a foundation problem, don’t wait to get it fixed. Contact us today!