Foundations

Do you have a foundation problem?

Sinking foundations, cracked and buckled walls and uneven floors are problems commonly faced annually by some quarter-million homeowners. Homes and other structures situated on unstable soils settle when their foundations are subjected to extreme moisture conditions or lack proper drainage. A shifting foundation may result in structural damage to your home and a loss of your investment.

You don’t always have to be a specialist to determine that foundation problems exist. You can determine this for yourself if you examine your house carefully.

Foundation failure warnings:

  • Doors that stick and squeak
  • Separation of door sills from frames
  • Windows that stick. Raise and lower the windows in each room, open and close all doors. Do they fit squarely without binding?
  • Cracks in interior walls near corners of doors or windows. Look at all the corners of windows and doors, and at joints where walls meet walls, ceilings or doors for signs that they are pulling away from each other. Also look for cracks in a brick fireplace wall.
  • Nails popping out of sheetrock or gypsum board. Examine walls and ceilings for evidence that nails may be working themselves loose.
  • Wallpaper that curls and separates
  • Curling and tearing of existing sheetrock repairs
  • Leaks and cracks in and around the fireplace
  • Cracks in the exposed concrete grade beam of the house. Check the exposed concrete at the base of the house for cracks. If there are only small cracks, they may also be nonstructural, but they may also be the first indication of trouble to come.
  • Caulking that pulls away from exterior surfaces. Outside the house, check the bottom corners of windows and doors. Do cracks run diagonally, along mortar joints in the brick veneer? Are the caulked joints pulling apart?
  • Nails popping out of corner frames
  • Obvious cracks in brick and mortar
  • Cracks and uneven elevations in structures attached to adjoining patios.