Your home is not only the place where you live in comfort and raise your family, it’s also a hefty investment. In fact, it may be the biggest investment you make in your life. The foundation of your home needs to be, quite literally, rock-solid in order to protect that investment. Damage to your foundation can be caused by a variety of factors, and it’s important to be able to identify the signs that you need foundation repair.
If you spot mold, leaks, or pools of water in your basement and yard, you may have ineffective drainage. Water damage is one of the most common causes of foundation damage, and 60% of homes have wet basements, according to This Old House. Moisture in your basement or crawl spaces can attract termites and other pests. It can also lead to harmful mold and mildew.
Luckily, there are several angles from which you can attack the problem. The first is to make sure your gutters and drainage pipes are clear of debris and let water flow away from your foundation. You can also get your lawn graded by landscapers if you notice pooling in your yard. You can also work with contractors to install more drainage in and around your home. Though these improvements will cost you, it pales in comparison to the costs of foundation repair.
Cracks in the Home
If you see cracks in your basement, walls, ceiling, or anywhere else, it may be a sign that you need to call one of the foundation repair services in your area. There are hairline fractures that occur while the foundation is settling for the first two to three years after installation, and these are acceptable. However, larger cracks that run horizontally are cause for concern. Not only do these cracks signify foundation issues, but they are also entry points for rodents and other pests. If you spot cracks, speak with a foundation repair contractor to make sure they are not indicative of larger problems.
Settling or Sinking
Foundation settling and sinking requires the attention of a professional foundation repair company. To spot the signs of foundation settling, walk around the perimeter of your home and look for uneven terrain and see if the home itself looks off-center. Settling will also create vertical gaps and cracks in your home. If the foundation settles more than one inch, you may be facing significant structural damage that puts you and your family in danger.
A foundation repair contractor will address this problem with a foundation lift. A foundation lift can be done in a number of ways, including the installation of concrete or steel piers that will support the foundation and get your home back to the center.
Your foundation can also surge upwards. Upheaval usually affects the perimeter of the foundation, but you may spot signs of it in your home, too. Soil expanding and contracting beneath and around the foundation can cause both sinking and upheaval, and a lot of this is caused by changes in the moisture content of the soil. This is why proper drainage is so crucial. In areas with cold winters, the upheaval can be caused by frost in the soil, too.
Sticking Doors and Gaps
Doors that stick or gaps between the doors and the door frames may also indicate a problem with your foundation. However, this can also occur from excessive humidity or faulty door installation. Don’t hit the panic button right away if you notice this sign. If you notice gaps or sticking doors, take a step back to see if the door looks uneven. If it does, look for cracks, gaps, bulging, or sagging around the house and the perimeter. Check the basement for signs of water damage and other foundation issues. If you notice multiple signs of foundation problems, then it’s time to call in the pros.
The good news is that if your house has foundation problems, it doesn’t need to be torn down to reinstall a new foundation. Foundation repair businesses operate all over. For the most reliable foundation and waterproofing contractors in Chicagoland and the Wisconsin border area, you can count on A-Proseal. We have over 20 years of experience tackling foundation issues and repairing drainage, window and door frames, sump pumps, and more. Call today to schedule a free estimate.