Your home’s foundation is one of the most essential elements. It secures your house and gives it stability.
Despite its importance, your foundation is often forgotten. Most homeowners don’t think about their foundation unless something happens. Perhaps your house begins to show signs of instability.
Perhaps you’ve started to notice cracks in the walls or that your doors no longer line up. The smallest shift in your foundation can cause serious issues in your home.
To prevent this, it’s important to inspect your foundation regularly. If you notice shifts in your home, you’ll know to investigate your foundation.
Keep reading for more insight on foundation inspection that every homeowner should know before a problem occurs. Try gutter glossary
Look Out for Interior Cracks in Walls or Floors
For a home inspection, one should be especially diligent in looking for interior cracks in walls or floors. Even small cracks can be a sign of a settling foundation or a range of other issues that can affect the quality and safety of your home.
Cracks can form from expanding soil pushing against the walls and causing the foundation to move, as well as possibly creating an unstable base for your home. One should also pay attention to nails, screws, and other fasteners to ensure no areas have been compromised.
In the case of severe or multiple cracks, it may be best to contact a professional. Do your research online by checking reviews and ratings for potential companies, such as Foundation Solutions 360. To have the peace of mind of a trusted, experienced, and licensed contractor.
Sagging Floors or Rooflines
Sagging floors or rooflines are a common sign that a foundation problem may be present and warrant inspection. They can be caused by inadequate supports or a sinkhole, or they can be caused by old age or a water leak degrading the foundation’s support and causing it to sag. Tools such as sonar imaging can be used during the inspection to determine the cause and extent of the problem.
Cracks on the Exterior of the House
When inspecting the foundation of your home, it is important to examine the exterior walls of the structure to check for any cracks. Cracks often appear in dry weather, especially if there is inadequate flashing or caulking between the walls and the window units. If the cracks are large, then they may signify a more serious issue, such as settling or subsidence, which needs to be addressed.
It is important to inspect the exterior of the home for any new cracks that may have occurred due to natural variations in the soil. Such as seasonal expansion, or man-made variations, such as improper installation of retaining walls or fencing.
Leaning Chimney or Porch
A great time to inspect your home’s foundation is when you notice leaning chimneys or porches that may be failing. The most common sign of a foundation problem is when a vertical beam begins to tilt or sink noticeably. A good place to look for this kind of damage is near the base of the porch or at the bottom of the chimney.
Any cracks or misalignment in the structure may be signs of a problem. An inspection can help determine the full scope of the damage, so a repair plan can be developed. Taking the time to inspect your home’s foundation can help catch any problems early and keep your home safe for years to come.
Effect of Excessive Moisture
Moisture can come from flooding, improper drainage, leaking plumbing, or even high levels of humidity. If these things are not taken care of, they can cause significant damage to the foundation of your home. Excessive moisture can cause cracking of the concrete, deterioration of wood and steel components, mold, and wood rot.
It can also cause masonry and mortar joints to become soft and easily crumble. In extreme cases, it can lead to foundation movement or collapse and the shifting of structural components. To avoid these issues, it is critical to resolving any instances of improper drainage, leaking plumbing, and high humidity.
Seeing Visible Water Damage
Water can cause costly damage to the foundation and must be dealt with on time. Keep an eye out for puddles of water forming around the foundation and/or stains that indicate water is seeping through. If there is soil that is crumbling, then water could be the cause.
Pay attention to any wet, damp, or discolored areas around the foundation and basement. Check your gutters and downspouts to make sure they are clear and that water is being diverted away from the foundation. Regular inspections and maintenance will help extend the life of your home’s foundation.
Winter: The Ideal Time to Check
Winter is the perfect time for foundation repairs. During the winter, the ground is usually frozen and rain is minimal, so the chances of flooding or other water damage are greatly reduced. This makes the ground stable and makes it easier for you to identify any cracks or signs of foundation damage.
The cold weather also has the added benefit of reducing the chances of pests and insects causing further damage, as fewer bugs and critters will be out and about. Lower temperatures are also ideal for preventing mold growth if there has previously been flooding or water damage.
It’s the time of year when nature is at its most vibrant, giving you clear signs of problems that may have been brewing during the colder months. An excess of moisture in the soil, for example, can cause the foundation to shift more and create chances for repairs.
Because it is a cooler season, visits to your basement, crawlspace, or any area below grade are more comfortable than in the hotter summer or freezing winter months. Spring is the best time to take advantage of good weather and put any necessary repairs into action. The longer you wait, the more costly repairs, as well as costly damage, can result.
Inspect Your Foundation: Year-Round Home Foundation Maintenance
It is essential to inspect your home’s foundation yearly to assure proper maintenance. By exercising preventative measures, possible repairs and costly damages can be avoided.
Start your yearly foundation check today to ensure that your residential structure is safe and sound for years to come. Don’t wait, inspect your foundation year-round for the best results!
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