Your home is most likely the most important and most expensive investment you will ever make. And that is why it is important to make sure you are protecting it. You already know that it is important to make sure you have homeowner’s insurance and to make sure you keep up with the regular maintenance on your home, but how can you tell if there is a more serious problem looming with the foundation of the home? When it comes to foundation issues, the earlier you can spot the problem the easier and less expensive it is going to be to fix, so here are some tips that will help you spot the early signs of foundation damage in your home.
Before we can look into things that are a warning sign for foundational damage, we should start by discussing settling. Settling is the term that is used to describe the natural changes that are expected to occur in the foundation over time due to weathering. Some settling in a home is expected, and often settlement is not a serious foundation concern, however there are circumstances in which settlement occurs in a manner that can pose a threat to creating serious foundational damage as well. Regular settling may cause cracks in the foundation to begin to appear, but when there are serious foundation concerns with your home these cracks will also be accompanied with other warning signs of a more serious foundational threat. Signs that the settling in your home may be a cause of foundational damage concern include one side of your home being lower than the other side, or the center of your home is sinking in.
Cracks In The Foundation, Walls, or Floors
For many people cracks are the tell-tale sign of foundation damage. While it is true that some cracks in the home, especially over time, are going to be normal, other cracks may be a sign of a more serious foundation problem. Types of cracks that you should be concerned about include cracks that:
- appear suddenly.
- are wider than one-eighth of an inch.
- are wide on one end and narrow on the other end.
- run horizontally or are “stair-stepped”.
- are positioned at a 45-degree angle.
- form above window frames.
- leak water.
Other concerns include:
- Crumbling or decay in the wall.
- Water damage including moisture, mold, and stains.
- Corners, pillars, joints, molding, or chimneys that are not straight and flush between the wall and ceiling.