Foundation Problems and Signs

Recognizing signs of foundation problems early can save you from expensive repairs later.

  1. Cracks in the foundation, Walls and Floor –  If you spot cracks in your foundation, it could indicate that you have a shift occurring due to expanding and contracting soil.  This occurs even m0re in area’s like Wisconsin were the freeze thaw happens yearly.  Different types of cracks can tell how serious the situation is.   From Vertical and horizontal cracks to stair-step cracks.  Having cracks in your foundation doesn’t always indicate an issue with your foundation, but getting them addressed early is important as cracks will allow water to get into them causing them to become an issue.  Having a foundation professional inspect your cracks will help determine the severity and if there is any concern.
  2. Foundation settling or Upheaval – Over time, you may notice that one side of your house is lower then the other.  If your home is 2-3 years old, it is pretty common that tiny cracks will appear.  But if you can visually notice that one side of your home is lower then the other, you may want to have it checked out.  I isn’t uncommon for your foundation to move upwards, this is “upheaval” and is mostly caused by moisture.  Heavy rains may cause this and also frost,  but also plumbing issues could also be causing a leak of water under your slab foundation.
  3. Counters and Cabinets pulling away from the wall–  If you notice your countertops or kitchen cabinets tilting or pulling away from the wall, you may have a foundation issue.  If you notice that they are a half inch or more away from the wall, this can be a major issue.

These are simple indicators that may or may not show that you are having a foundation issue.  Having a qualified foundation specialist inspect your foundation will be the best way to determine if foundation repair is needed.

Main Causes of Foundation Failure

  • Plumbing Leaks – A plumbing leak can last for years without anyone noticing. The moisture seeping into the soil can create pressure on the foundation, causing your homes foundation to fail.
  • Evaporation – Dry conditions can cause clay soils to shrink and leave gaps in your foundation causing it to settle and sink without proper support beneath it.
  • Poor Grading – A poorly graded ground level can cause a foundation to fail by allowing excessive lateral water pressure to bow a homes foundation.
  • Drainage Problems – Improper drainage of rain gutters can cause the soil beneath your home to expand and cause your foundation to fail.
  • Unsuitable Soil Conditions – Causes of foundation failures due to improper soil compaction, allowing for the soil to contract and expand.
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