Subtle Signs That Your Home Might Need Foundation Repair

Posted on: 1 May 2018

It's never good to put off repairing a home's foundation when needed, as a damaged foundation can allow a home to shift and settle, so that the framework of the structure may then crack. In turn, outside heat and cold might get in through those cracks, increasing the home's utility bills, and the home might also suffer water damage and resultant mould. A settling and shifting foundation can also mean cracks along interior walls, floors and ceilings. To avoid all this damage, note a few subtle signs that your home might need foundation repair, so you know to call a repairperson to have it patched or even underpinned, as needed.

Cracked or uneven mortar joints

If your home is made of brick or it has a brick chimney, you should be checking the mortar and the brick itself on a regular basis, to note if there are any cracks or other such damage. These cracks can be caused by water that is not properly plumbed from the roof, and which is then absorbed by the bricks or mortar, but they can also be caused by a shifting foundation. When the foundation is damaged and the home shifts and settles, mortar can pull away from the brick itself, or the bricks will crack. Don't just patch over these cracks, but have the home's foundation checked for needed repairs as well.

Nails and caulking

As with mortar coming away from brick, caulking may come away from tile if a home should settle or shift. In some cases, caulking may simply be very old so that it's become brittle and lost its adhesion, but if you know that caulk in the bathroom or along floor tile is relatively new, and is still coming away from tile, have the home's foundation checked. Protruding nails that once were flat and level, such as those in moulding or baseboards, can also be the result of a shifting foundation.

Uneven basement walls

If your home's basement walls are suddenly protruding inward, this typically means that the foundation is no longer strong enough to resist the pressure of soil around it, so that the walls then get curved and bowed. You may also notice cracks in the basement walls, but don't assume that a basement wall needs to be cracked for the home's foundation to need repair. Any change in the overall structure of basement walls signals that the foundation should at least be checked for needed patching or house underpinning, so that it's strong enough to withstand soil pressure and support your home.

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