Signs of Foundation Problems: 6 Things To Look For

6 Signs of Foundation Problems.

Your house naturally ages over time. As a result, homeowners face a good number of home repairs, some of which are costly. Foundation problems are one example of a potentially expensive issue. However, identifying signs of foundation problems early on can help save homeowners money in the long run.

What Are The Early Signs of Foundation Problems?

Often, there are apparent signs of foundation problems on walls, floors, and even ceilings of the house. Additionally, although you can’t see any signs of foundation problems, they may still exist. Signs of foundation problems not only appear on or around the foundation. As our AFS Foundation and Waterproofing Specialists can tell you, symptoms might be throughout the house. Homeowners need to recognize them.

6 Signs of Foundation Problems

For an average homeowner, recognizing such signs of foundation problems is often challenging. The following are some early signs of foundation problems that some find helpful: 

Check the floors and ceilings

Look out for warped floors and ceilings. If you find them in this condition, then there may be something wrong with your foundation. As the foundation of the house shifts, it pulls apart the support beams and the compact walls. This sudden shift leads to the uneven weight distribution of the house in certain places. Foundation shifts result in sagging floors and ceilings. Homeowners need to look for slanted floors, which are a visible sign of foundation problems. If the slope of the house is in a specific direction, call an AFS professional for a free estimate.

Check the doors and windows

A tight window is not a cause for concern. However, doors and windows showing consistent issues with opening and closing are common indicators of foundation problems.

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Look for the musty smell in the basement

If you sense that your basement is giving out a musty smell, have an AFS specialist inspect the problem. Leaks in the basement wall may result in the growth of mold and mildew. Water leakage can cause a musty odor. Condensation from pipes may cause additional moisture.

Additional Signs of Foundation Problems

Look out for bowed walls

If the interior or exterior walls begin to bow, then that could be due to issues in the foundation. Many homeowners often mistake a paint blister for bowing walls. That is not related to foundation issues, so be sure to identify bowing basement walls correctly. Bowing walls are a great place for water to get in.  As the clay soil around the foundation absorbs water it expands and pushes against the foundation, also known as hydrostatic pressure.

Check for nails popping out of the wall

If you notice small nail pops in places where the nails have pulled away from the sheetrock, then that can be due to wall movement. Wall movement is a sign of severe foundation problems that require immediate attention. Nail pops are more from the expansion and contraction of walls from changes in humidity. If you are seeing a lot of nail pops, this is a direct sign of foundation problems.

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Check the position of your chimney

The chimney of your house can also point towards foundation problems. The chimney might get a little off-kilter, and that can be dangerous for your family as the chimney can collapse anytime in such conditions. A professional should stabilize the chimney as soon as possible.

Cracks on the walls and floor

Not all cracks are severe. However, if you notice the following, then the cracks need immediate attention: 

  • The cracks are leaking water
  • There are stair-step cracks on the interior and exterior walls 
  • The cracks are more than one-eighth of an inch wide
  • Cracks are horizontal or at a 45-degree angle  

Recognizing the early signs of foundation problems can be very helpful in keeping significant threats to the foundation away. All one needs is to keep their eyes open for the first signs of issues and take preventative measures. Contact an AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialist today to get started.


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