A cracked foundation is probably one of the scariest things for a homeowner. The thought of your home caving in would keep anyone up at night with concern. We see and hear commercials all the time about warning signs of a home in distress being cracks in the foundation. So, what do you do if you see cracks in your home’s foundation and what exactly do they mean?
Before we get into warning signs and causes for concern, if you ever have any doubt as to whether or not your home is at risk for foundation failure be sure to consult a professional. Your home more than likely is your biggest investment, so take care of it.
There are 4 primary signs to foundation problems on the inside of your house.
- Doors are difficult to close or are completely jammed
- Cracks over doors, windows, and where ceilings meet the walls
- Windows sticking and or won’t open or close at all
- Cracks on a vinyl or tile floor
Looking for structural warning signs outside can be a little tricky. Cracks near your foundation are not always cause for concern. Sometimes cracks occur due to natural settling of a house. Soil, weather, time, and location are all factors that contribute to the settling of a house. Here are some things you can do in order to determine foundation problems on the outside of your home.
- If you do see a crack near your foundation, measure it and watch it over time. If it gets in bigger either in width or length then it’s possible you do have an issue.
- Put a level on your exterior walls and check to make sure they aren’t leaning.
- Look for bulges on exterior walls with your naked eye. Visible bulges are not good.
- Poke the concrete foundation with a screwdriver. If it easily flakes or breaks off then there could be some problems.
If you live in a neighborhood chances are your neighbors houses were built by the same builder. They also have the same soil and weather changes. Check with them to see if they too are having the same symptoms. This can help you get an overall picture of your foundation and potential structural problems.
Another proactive approach to home foundation problems is determining whether or not your homeowners insurance will cover your costs in case you do need to hire a company to fix your foundation. This can be a very costly endeavor, so insurance would be a huge factor.