Warning Signs of Foundation Damage
Usually the first warning sign of foundation problems is an interior wall crack in the sheetrock. These cracks often appear at the upper corners of doors and windows. These interior wall cracks are strong indications that the home’s foundation has moved up, down, and/or diagonally and cracked in one or more places. After viewing this page you can visit the page concerning the different methods of foundation repair.
The next most commonly noticed warning sign of foundation issues is a crack in the exterior brick wall. Sometimes the brick siding will “bow out” when being compressed by upheaval. This can easily be determined by standing at the corner of the house and viewing the length of the brick wall with one eye.
Other warning signs of foundation damage include a roof ridgeline that is not straight or bows, water damage or water penetration through the slab, water pooling outside around the slab, roof joists and rafters that are separating, cracks in floor tiles, any sunken (settlement) portion of the concrete slab, and any raised (upheaval) portion of the concrete slab.
Exterior Warning Signs
The first noticeable sign on the outside of the home is usually brick cracks. There is usually a stair-step break in the mortar and/ or bricks but sometimes these cracks can be vertical or horizontal. This is confirmation that nature’s forces (soil movement) were stronger than the slab concrete foundation and a portion of it has broken or cracked. Cracks in the brick and mortar become more pronounced in the second story of two story houses.
The outside brick around the fireplace is also a common area of damage when the concrete slab has been broken. Look at corners and note any “bowing” of the bricks. Fireplace brick can also “pull away” from the main portion of the home. Windows are another common area of damage when the foundation moves. Check around the window frames for any gaps. Sometimes the soil movement is great enough to warp the window frame and break the glass, which is obvious to all. Exterior doors that do not open or close properly may be the result of foundation movement.
Interior Warning Signs
The most common interior warning signs of foundation damage are cracks in the walls or sheetrock. Often the crack will originate at the upper corner of an interior door or window and move upward at a diagonal angle.
Other sheetrock cracks can be vertical or horizontal and these cracks are very strong warning signs of undesired foundation movement. Cracks in floor tiles and interior doors that do not open or close properly are other interior warning signs.
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