As most people know, a building’s foundations are what provide the building a platform upon which it can be built.
More specifically, the foundations provide support to the structure that’s being built upon. It does this to help transfer the load, or weight, of the structure to the soil or rock underneath.
This is to ensure the building is structurally sound and does not collapse because it cannot cope with the overall weight of the structure and the additional weight of what it’s housing.
However, there are some instances whereby your house may require its foundation to be repaired.
A typical example of this is general wear and tear, especially if your home is not a new build. The type of foundation could be slab or pier and beam that requires renovation.
But how do you know when your house needs its foundations repaired before it’s too late? If you’re unsure, then this article’s for you.
Doors that Don’t Naturally Open or Close
Weather can usually cause frames to expand or contract, however, if your doors are frequently doing this then it’s a problem that more than likely is associated with your foundations.
The type of door can mean it’s affected differently:
- Interior doors tend to stick or drag from the top.
- Exterior doors usually look uneven and could even drag at the threshold.
- French doors may not meet in the middle or hang correctly from their hinges.
Unfortunately, no property is exempt from these issues if their foundation is the root of the problem.
The best thing you can do is seek professional help immediately for potential foundation repair in Baltimore or any state your property happens to be in.
This is even more important if you happen to notice fractures or cracks in your foundation to prevent the problem from worsening.
The cause of the problem won’t be identified until a professional does a thorough foundation evaluation.
Once this is done, you’ll receive expert advice about potential issues and what should be done next to remedy the situation.
A qualified and licensed plumber will be able to determine whether leaks are the cause of your property woes.
They’ll complete various tests including a hydrostatic plumbing test to not only determine whether there are leaks but to also locate where they are.
Gaps around Windows and Exterior Doors
There are times when you may notice that your windows or external doors have become draughty.
You may also discover that they no longer latch as they used to. If you’ve noticed one of these issues, or even both, the first thing you should do is a visual inspection of your property to note which external doors and windows are affected.
Pay attention to the frames as well because doors are misaligned from frames it could be a sign to get your foundations checked.
It’s also good to consider whether the affected windows and doors are a security risk because they’ll require immediate attention for your own personal safety and that of anyone also living in your home.
Counters that have Moved Away from Walls
Think about when you first moved into your home. Everything was how you wanted it to be – brand new or getting replaced.
Now, a few years in, if you’ve noticed that your fitted cabinets have a gap between them and the wall they were once attached to, it’s a sign that your home has foundation issues.
Additionally, if your work surfaces or units now appear to be tilting, look around your home at other fitted units to see if they’re also looking the same
This is an indication that there’s an issue with your home’s foundations as it’s causing your fittings to now have an uneven workspace or top.
Sagging or Uneven Floors
Our floors are something we don’t usually pay much attention to unless something is literally affecting our ability to walk on them.
However, it’s always worth paying attention to them when we’re cleaning them.
You should look for signs of dipping or bowing or anything that means they’re no longer level. Different types of floor demonstrate distinctive issues when there are problems with a property’s foundation.
- Concrete floors will usually be uneven or unlevel
- Pier of beam floors tend to creak and dip
Regardless of the issue, you must put a stop to whatever foundation movement is occurring.
This is not only an issue for your property but can also be a health and safety issue if anyone has mobility issues.
This can raise an entire structure, although it usually forces part of a foundation, or slab, to rise upwards.
This causes cracks and uneven surfaces, including floors. These actions are the opposite of foundation setting as it’s causing your foundations to move upwards and unsettling your property, possibly internally as well as externally.
If you’ve seen cracks in your floors and walls, have doors and windows that stick when you try to use them, and have uneven floors, you need to get your foundations examined by a professional as soon as you’re able.
Moisture is the main culprit for causing foundation upheaval, so inspect your property and also pay attention to the weather.
Try to determine where the moisture is accessing your foundations. A good way to determine if you have a plumbing leak is to also check your water bill.
Damp Crawl Space in a Pier and Beam House
If you have a pier and beam house, then you should check your crawl space for any moisture on a regular basis.
With approximately 14,000 Americans experiencing some kind of water emergency, it’s a good idea to do this to limit anything from becoming worse.
Heavy moisture, unfortunately, is a sign that your property will have foundation problems or will do soon.
You’ll need to discover the cause before you can treat the problem to stop it from recurring, or at the least minimize it.
Bear in mind that any moisture will possibly lead to problems in the long run.
However, an expert in pier and beam houses will know how best to deal with your situation, so the moment you notice moisture, find yourself a reputable contractor to help you fix and minimize any damage to your property.
Over time, through general tear or trauma, your property may experience foundation movement.
There are many issues that could indicate this, such as gaps on the exterior walls, floor, and/or chimney cracks and fissures.
Gaps consisting of more than a quarter of an inch warrant urgent investigation. As can cracks, especially if they’re horizontal, as they’re also often a sign that there are issues with your foundations.
As a rule of thumb, if insects or water can consume a crack, then they’re large enough to warrant immediate attention.
It’s generally a good idea to inspect your property for signs of structural damage. This includes your external and internal walls as well as your windows and doors.
Your floors should also be periodically examined for potential signs of foundation issues too.
If you happen to see anything of concern, seeking advice for peace of mind could not only prevent harm from happening to anyone, it could also save you considerable expense.