Indoor and Outdoor Foundation Warning Signs

Oct 15, 2017

an exterior crack indicating a foundation problemThe presence of cracks in indoor walls, floor and doorways, and sticking doors and windows are all signs of foundation problems. Further, symptoms like chipping of foundation, rotting posts, wide cracks on the exterior and pools of water in a crawlspace are signs of foundation problems that need professional assistance. If you can identify early warnings signs of foundation problems, you save thousands of dollars in repair costs. It is simply easier to fix the issues when caught early.

Poor design does not cause most of the foundation problems. The problem comes from the soil that supports the building’s foundation. Foundation problems are caused by among other things, inconsistent moisture content in the soil, poor soil compaction, soil consolidation, weak bearing soils, and maturing trees near the building. Prompt foundation repair is necessary in all of these cases.

Indoor warning signs

It is common for buildings to settle over time. Usually this does not cause major problems to the building and is not a reason to worry. However, if you find any of these signs inside your home, contact a professional building contractor for repairs.

  1. The windows become hard to open and close
  2. Doors jam or cannot be latched
  3. There are visible cracks in walls or ceilings, especially over windows and doorways
  4. There are cracks in concrete floors

Outdoor warning signs

Check your exterior walls if you notice the above signs indoors. Look for these signs of foundation problems:

  1. Chipping of poured foundation after probing with a screwdriver is a sign of a crumbling foundation.
  2. You may find that the wood posts and concrete supports are wet and rotting. This means that moisture from the soil is climbing to the basement and damaging your posts.
  3. If there are pools of water all over the crawlspace, it may be an indication that the gutters are not draining water, as they should. Over time, this can lead to foundation settlement and mold growth. You can resolve the problem by unclogging any clogged gutters and ensuring that the ground next to the house slopes away to avoid ground water from getting from the crawlspace.
  4. If the foundation continues to settle, you will notice cracks in the block foundations. Small cracks at the corner are not big problems but if other cracks start to develop in other areas, it may be a sign of serious foundation problems.
  5. Stair-step cracks in joints- If you find cracks of a quarter an inch wide and a bulging wall, then the foundation has a major problem. Moisture is the main cause of the problem especially from water pouring from unplugged gutter.
  6. Horizontal cracks- These cracks results from soil that froze and expanded after being saturated with water. These cracks are a sign of a more serious problem.

Seek professional foundation repair

Some of the solutions that are available for repair include plate anchors, helical piers, steel piers, helical tie back anchors and hydraulic slab lift pier. The choice of the repair solution depends on the type of the problem and extent of damage to the foundation.

If you find any of the above signs, seek professional evaluation from an ESOG professional as soon as possible. Our repair specialist will determine if the foundation cracks are caused by soil problems or structural design problems, and can advise you on the best remedy for the foundation issue(s).