Decorating Your Home

Three Signs Your Home May Desperately Need Foundation Repair

Many homeowners in America don't know all that much about the foundation their home is built on, and even if they do know what type of foundation they have and what that means, they may not know how to care for their foundation or how to tell when it's sending out distress signals. Here are three signs you should watch for that could mean your foundation is in distress and needs repairs or other help.

1. Wide, stair-step, or fresh cracks in the foundation wall

Some cracks in a home's foundation are normal. It's unlikely that your foundation would end up with no cracks at all after being built and after some settling has occurred. However, not all cracks are created equal. Vertical cracks, especially thin ones, are probably normal, but if you see a crack that's very wide (especially at the top), horizontal, or stair-step (if your foundation wall is built of bricks or cinder blocks), you could have a problem. Any fresh cracks are cause for further investigation, but these types are especially likely to be problematic.

2. Cracks appearing in other parts of your home

If your foundation settles more at one end of the house than at the other, one end can start to tilt ever so slightly. Of course, if you notice that it's skewed and the floors are tilted and so on, that's a huge problem, but you're more likely to see the earlier signs first. Cracks are most likely to appear near the top of your house in these cases, so check above windows and at the tops of walls (and even on ceilings) for fresh cracks.

3. Window and door problems

Of course, windows and doors can swell up and stick shut in high humidity (if the doors and window sashes are made of wood), but if the problem persists or doesn't seem to be humidity-related, you could have a foundation problem that's causing the house to tilt or lean a little. A leaning house becomes a crooked house, and this makes window and door frames go ever so slightly crooked, which means that the doors and windows don't fit quite the same way that they did before. In severe cases, the house may go so off-kilter that window panes start shattering, but you're likely to notice problems long before it comes to this.

If you notice any of the above issues, you should talk to a professional about your foundation repair options.