Every layer of dirt underneath your home has different characteristics, and it is no secret that it settles over the years. This can have a major effect on the foundation and structure above it, and when these layers of soil are unable to bear the weight of your home on top of them, the foundation can begin to sink and settle. When this happens, your home may experience damage in several different ways — with some that may be more obvious than others. When you know what to look for, the signs of foundation damage are unmistakable — and taking action before the damage increases is crucial.
In today’s blog, we will be going over three ways you can spot damage caused by your foundation sinking and settling into the soil so you are able to catch it before it turns detrimental. If you have further questions about your foundation, helical products, or are looking to get in touch with a professional foundation repair technician, please do not hesitate to give Magnum Piering a call. We would be more than happy to help in any way we can.
Sign #1: Cracks in the Foundation
An obvious sign that you have an issue with your foundation sinking or settling is seeing noticeable cracks in the walls of your foundation. However, not all of these foundation cracks are bad — some cracks are actually normal. So how do you tell the difference between normal and bad cracks? A clear giveaway is the location, direction, and size of the crack at-hand.
For example, shrinkage cracks that occur in concrete foundations are normal and happen when the concrete cures after it is poured. These types of cracks will appear within the first year after construction, and generally do not change over time. They are mostly harmless, however, if you notice cracks that appeared years after your home was built or are growing larger over time, it usually is a tell-tale sign that something is moving or your foundation is settling.
Cracks in your foundation that are wider at the top then they are at the bottom can indicate that part of your foundation is falling away. If you notice this problem, your foundation may need to be stabilized by a trusted foundation repair technician. Filling these cracks on your own may prevent a contractor from being able to lift the foundation back into place, so it is best to leave them alone until you have had them inspected.
In the market for helical products for your next foundation repair project? Browse our selection and give us a call with any questions at Magnum Piering today.
Sign #2: Uneven Floors
An uneven floor on any level of your home can be a cause for concern. If you have concrete floors in the basement that aren’t level, it is usually caused by your foundation settling or heaving. If this occurs, it is best to have it looked at by a professional repair technician as these types of problems will only get worse over time. If your floors on the upper level of your home are not level, it could be caused by a few different issues. It could be that your foundation is settling, the interior columns in the basement or crawl space are shifting, or that you have sagging floor joists.
Sign #3: Cracks Above Windows and Door Frames or In Walls
Plaster and drywall cracks are fairly easy to patch up, but you are probably wondering what causes them in the first place. It could be due to excess moisture or a sub-par mud and tape job, but it could also mean that your home has problems with its foundation. If it is due to foundation settlement, you will usually see the cracks reopen after they have been repaired.
An easy way to tell if wall cracks are caused by foundation movement is if there are drywall cracks occurring around the corners of windows and doors throughout your home. If you notice cracks of this nature, it is wise to have your foundation inspected. You can even try setting a level on the window frame — if it is unlevel, this is likely a sign of foundation movement as well.
Speak With a Professional Today
If you’ve noticed any of these warning signs of foundation settlement, the best thing you can do is to take action and have a foundation repair professional come out to your home to inspect it and determine if you have a true problem or not. If you do end up having a problem, you will learn about the repairs that are necessary to fix it in order to prevent further damage.
Foundation problems do not fix themselves and only get worse over time. If left unrepaired, they are likely to cause more damage throughout your home and your wallet.
To learn more about foundation repairs, helical products, or to get in contact with a foundation repair technician in your city, please give Magnum Piering a call today. We look forward to assisting you in any way we can!