This week's post is once again a guest post. Working in the basement repair industry we often deal with foundation settlement issues and the many ways homeowners deal with them. Many homeowners don't even know they have a foundation problem until it is quite visible. Some will panic, some will disregard, some will patch it up hoping it will go away.
In this article, by David Thrasher from Foundation Supportworks, he discusses 5 significant signs of possible foundation problems, accompanied by great pictures that illustrate the different issues. David Thrasher is a Foundation Repair Expert and one of the most knowledgeable professionals in this industry.
I hope that this article, which he kindly allowed me to reprint in Basement Files, will help my friends from the Real Estate community, as well as homeowners and homebuyers in general. Foundation problems are not to be taken lightly in Real Estate transactions. It is always great to know what to look for when listing or shopping for a home.
So, here's the scoop:
Is My Home Falling Apart? Five Tell-tale Signs of Foundation Settlement Problems
An illustrated guide to help homeowners identify possible foundation settlement problems.
Foundation settlement problems in a home can be a scary thing and can leave homeowners feeling unsure about the problem. In particular, many homeowners are concerned about how a settling foundation will affect the appearance and resale value of their home. In order to determine if your home is settling, let’s talk about five of the most common signs of a settling foundation.
1. Exterior Foundation Cracks
Exterior foundation cracks are a common sign of a settling foundation. If your home has brick or concrete block on the outside, stairstep cracks are common. As settlement worsens, the cracks become wider, indicating an outward rotation. The more a wall or corner rotates, the more difficult it is to fix.
If your home has a poured concrete foundation, vertical cracks may indicate that your foundation is settling. Cracks in poured concrete are likely to be wider at the top than they are at the bottom Caution: Be careful not to assume that a crack in your foundation is merely a “shrinkage crack”. Shrinkage cracks tend to be very small, “hairline” cracks that maintain a consistent width for the length of the crack.
Exterior foundation cracks are commonly noticed at the corners of doors and windows, so be sure to check for cracks at these locations.
2. Interior Drywall Cracks
Cracks in drywall throughout the inside of your home are another good indicator of a foundation problem. When a home settles, cracks in drywall at the corners of doors and windows are common and may be more obvious on the upper floors of your home. Cracks that follow drywall seams are also common.
3. Past Repairs
Homeowners sometimes try quick fix solutions to the damages caused by foundation problems. A common repair is patching over drywall cracks on interior walls and tuckpointing cracks on the exterior of the home. Repeated tuckpointing often results in varying colors of mortar that are easily noticed and indicate that the problem was there before.
4. Doors and Windows Out of Square
Whenever an opening is cut or created in a wall, such as a door or window, it becomes the weakest point of the wall. Because of this, doors and windows often display the first signs of settlement. When observing what is happening around doors and windows, ask yourself this:
- When I put a level across the top of the door or window frame, is it level?
- Do any of my doors or windows “stick” when I try to open or close them?
- Have I adjusted any doors or windows to make them operate properly?
- Have I had to move or replace locking or latching mechanisms on doors?
5. Chimney Rotating
Chimneys can also indicate a settlement issue when they begin to rotate away from the house. When this happens, a gap forms between the chimney and the foundation that is usually wider at the top and tapers down towards the base of the chimney.
There are many reasons that foundation problems exist, and Foundation Supportworks can help you understand what caused the problem and your options for fixing it.
If you would like more information or to schedule a free foundation inspection of your home with Foundation Supportworks, contact them via email or call 1-866-375-9990.