Creating Lasting Repairs

Four Signs Your Foundation May Need Repairs

by Marvin Gilbert

Foundation problems can be scary, but what's even more scary is the possibility of having a serious foundation problem and continuing on completely unaware of it. Here are four signs of foundation problems that can help you determine when your foundation needs repairs.

1. New cracks appearing

The occasional hairline crack shows up when a foundation is settling shortly after it dries. If your foundation wall has a couple of hairline cracks that have been around since before you owned the house, there's probably nothing to worry about (especially if they're vertical cracks). But new cracks in the foundation wall can indicate new settling or other moving around, which is generally a bad thing. And if the cracks are horizontal or stairstep cracks, they could indicate that the soil pressure on the outside of your foundation wall is slowly pushing the wall in. These types of cracks will need to be assessed and repaired by professional foundation repair personnel, who can use special repair materials that will chemically bond with the concrete and then assess whether the wall needs further support to keep it from being pushed inwards and collapsing.

2. Water seeping through the floor

If your foundation has recently developed a problem with water seeping through the floor, it may be due to a burst or leaking pipe below the slab. Other signs (which may or may not be present) include a noticeable increase in your water bills and a rushing sound below the slab. This leak can compromise the strength of your concrete slab and rust away the reinforcing metal inside the slab, as well as washing away some of the soil beneath your foundation so that its footing is less sure. Both plumbing repairs and foundation repairs are likely to be needed here.

3. Compromised pilings

If the drainage around your home isn't sufficient, water can seep down to the foundation every time it rains. And if you have a foundation supported by pilings, this can mean that the pilings themselves become rotted or waterlogged and need repairs. 

4. Unevenness

If your foundation has become uneven, whether from an earthquake or because there's a tree on one side of the house pulling all the water out from under that side and shrinking the soil so one half of the foundation settles more, uneven settling can cause real problems for homeowners. Floors can become uneven and sloped, windows and doors can stop functioning correctly, and cracks may appear in the walls and ceiling of your home itself. These signs all indicate that there's something going wrong with the foundation.

As you can see, there are several ways to detect a potential need for foundation repairs. Because your foundation is so big and so critical to the existence of your house, you should always have it professionally repaired rather than trying a DIY job. Contact a foundation repair company for an estimate.