If your area has recently experienced a natural disaster such as an earthquake or heavy rains, then you want to stay alert to changes in your home. Even very minor jolts from an earthquake can cause damage to your home's foundation. Heavy rain can cause the soil under your house to shift due to the rising water table. While you should get an inspection from a professional to evaluate possible damage to your home, there are a few things you can look for yourself. Here are some signs of foundation damage.
Cracks In Walls And Basement Floor
Cracks in your basement are often difficult to assess yourself. They could merely be cosmetic and easy to repair with crack filler. On the other hand, they could signal trouble with your foundation. Stair-step cracks along a wall or uneven cracks in the floor could signal a shift in the soil under your home. When you see cracks, especially if they develop suddenly, you should call a foundation repair company for an inspection and repairs. You may need to have the sunken portion of the foundation elevated by filling the void underneath with concrete slurry. If you're fortunate, the cracks won't be serious, but if they are a sign of more serious damage, then you want repairs as soon as possible so your home is safe.
Sticky Windows And Doors
Another sign of a shift in a foundation is when a house is suddenly out of alignment. The easiest way to tell if this has happened is to open windows and doors in your home. Normally, doors should swing freely on their frames and windows should slide open and shut without sticking. If your windows seem to be stuck or are difficult to open and your doors won't close all the way because they are out of alignment, it is time to call in a professional to have your foundation examined.
Stairs Pulling Away From Walls
Foundation trouble also shows up in staircases. You may notice stairs are not as sturdy. They may feel spongy when you walk on them. You may even see cracks where they attach if they are pulling away from the wall. A situation like this is not safe, so you'll want to get the stairs repaired as soon as possible, but first, you'll need to fix the problems with the foundation that are affecting the stairs.
Uneven Floors And Ceilings
If your foundation shifts, it sends a jolt through your whole home that can cause cracking and separations all through the home, even on upper levels. The movement can be horizontal or vertical so your floors and walls can be affected too. You may notice your floors look uneven or the ceiling looks bowed. The floor may even take on a wavy appearance. These changes can happen suddenly or they can happen gradually over months or years when foundation damage is not repaired as soon as it occurs.
A foundation repair company has different options available for fixing damage caused by a shifting foundation whether it was caused by soil movement or water pressure. Even though repairs may be a big undertaking, you don't want to put them off or even worse damage could be done to your home that results in the need for more costly repairs. Talk with a foundation repair company for more help.