Your foundation is the base of your entire home. Any damage or change to the condition of your foundation can cause substantial structural damage to the rest of your home. That’s why you need to be aware of some of the most common signs of foundation damage.

Catching damage early means you can get a foundation repair contractor to fix what’s going wrong. This often means that the repairs are less expensive, and the damage is less extensive. Keep reading for an overview of the different warning signs of foundation issues and what can be done to address them.

Signs You Need Foundation Repair

Understanding the most common and serious signs of foundation issues are can help you determine when you should talk to a home repair contractor about foundation repair. The underlying causes of foundation damage are varied, so it can be hard to determine what happened straight away. Usually, however, poor drainage, poor installation, or changes in the landscape around your home are what lead to foundation issues.

Crooked Floors

One of the more common signs of serious foundation issues that you will be able to notice throughout your home are changes to the level of your floors.  A slanted floor can cause chairs to slide or your floorboards to warp and crack. This usually indicates that your foundation has cracked into sections, which are now pulling away from one another.

Ceiling Damage

If you notice that your floors have become crooked, you should also pay attention to the condition of your ceiling. Ceilings are much more likely to suffer damage from shifts in the foundation, as they have a single flat surface, instead of being made up of many floorboards.

Crown Molding Gaps

Another sign of foundation issues that is often overlooked is the development of gaps between your crown moldings and ceilings. The same warning sign applies to your baseboards and your floors.  This can happen as your home physically settles. However, if the gap is bigger in one area over another, your foundation is not settling evenly. This can lead to cracking or other foundation issues that need to be corrected.

Bowed Basement Walls

Another thing that can indicate that your home is suffering from foundation issues is the presence of basement walls that are caving inwards. Bowed walls can be caused by soil erosion, poor drainage, and other structural issues. The walls will eventually cave into your basement, undermining the support they provide to the rest of your home. If this is the case, you will likely have to have those walls braced to prevent your foundation from moving even further.

What Does Foundation Repair Consist Of?

The type of foundation repair that your home will need depends on the type of damage your foundation has suffered. Below are some of the most common procedures that a contractor may suggest.

Reinforced Walls

As mentioned above, bowing walls are a major cause for concern. If they collapse, the entire section of your home that sits above them could break apart as well. A broken wall can also lead to water damage and flooding in your basement.  Reinforced walls will be installed, usually held up with metal supports. Most of the time, additional work will need to be done on the soil around your home to improve drainage and divert water away from your property. You’ll have to monitor the condition of the reinforced wall to determine if you’ll need to have further work done.

Piers

Piering is a process of foundation stabilization that uses metal pipes that are drilled deep into the ground through your foundation. They hold the foundation in place and prevent further movement. Once secured to bedrock, a hydraulic jack will physically lift the foundation so it is level again.  Piering provides long-term support and ensures that your foundation won’t crack or shift again. The issue is that some regions do not have a suitable level of bedrock or soil underneath them to hold the piers in place. You’ll have to talk to a contractor about your soil conditions and what options they leave you.

Slabjacking

Slabjacking is an alternative method of stabilizing a sinking or shifting foundation. Grout is pumped underneath your foundation, pushing it back into place before it hardens to support the foundation. Slabjacking is a quicker process than replacing the concrete slab or installing piers to hold the foundation up.

Leaks And Water Damage

The presence of water in your foundation is a concern, even if none of the above warning signs have popped up and your foundation is still in good condition. Water can seep into the concrete of your foundation and cause cracking, as it expands when it freezes. This can lead to bowing walls and cracks in the concrete pad itself. While your foundation is still fine, you should talk to a contractor about changes to your landscape to prevent water from entering your basement. Foundation waterproofing methods, like a vapor barrier, can help prevent future damage.

Do Not Hesitate On Foundation Repair

Waiting to have foundation issues addressed can quickly become costly. The damage will only continue to pile up, and it will take much longer to get your home back to normal again. Talk to a contractor as soon as you think that there is something wrong with your foundation.

For more information about home repair and maintenance, check out the House & Home section of our site!

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