Texas has a reputation for beautiful women…and terrible soil.
Engineers consider several factors when performing a foundation inspection; the weight of your home (including the contents), the soil composition, and the materials used for construction. Fortunately for homeowners, signs of foundation movement are easily detectable.
The Top 5 Signs of Foundation Problems
- Improperly functioning doors and windows: A good contractor will check doors and windows during installation to ensure they are working properly. Therefore, post-construction issues could be a hint that your home has a foundation problem. Call an engineer if your doors and windows…
- Are difficult to open and close
- Swing open when unlatched
- Have visible gaps at the bottom or top
- Scrape the floor
- Have cracks on the walls at the frame corner
- Problematic basement walls: When a home is designed with a basement, the immense weight of the structure, and everything inside of it, rests on the supporting basement walls. As such, sagging, bowing, or leaning basement walls indicate an issue with your home’s foundation. By taking immediate and proactive measures you can reduce the risk of major foundation repairs in the future.
- Chimney damage: Chimneys made with a rock or brick exterior tend to show early indications of foundation movement. The twisting and pulling of settling causes the mortar to fail. A leaning chimney, or a chimney with visible gaps or cracks, can be a red flag for foundation issues.
- Questionable soil composition: Ideally, the soil surrounding your home is dry, well-compacted and there are no signs of standing water. Visible slope movement such as minor landslides or cracks in the ground signal poor soil quality. There are a number of solutions to remedy this. Call your local irrigation company if you notice water pooling around your home, especially if you notice moisture without an apparent cause. The important thing to understand is that the quality of your soil has a direct impact on the foundation.
- Uneven floors: If your home’s foundation is in jeopardy you may notice floor tiles cracking, lifting, warping, sagging and bulging. Homes with carpeting can make these indicators less noticeable. Pay attention to changes in your flooring to help you identify concerns BEFORE they get out of hand.
If you are concerned about your home’s foundation, consult a foundation expert (A LICENSED ENGINEER) right away. When choosing the best professional to inspect your home, do your homework. Beware of free estimates from companies who may be trying to sell you their service.