Over time, your home’s foundation will likely crack, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s normal. Although vertical cracks are common, they could lead to other issues. Many homeowners make the mistake of noticing a foundation issue and telling themselves they’ll get to it eventually. Worse yet, they may see a problem and do nothing at all. Everybody knows that the foundation is the most important part of their home. Without a foundation, you essentially don’t have a home. Don’t be foolish and put off crucial home repairs. We’re going to discuss some of the reasons you shouldn’t ignore foundation problems in our guide below; check it out.
How To Spot Foundation Problems
Look out for these common signs of foundation problems.
- Windows and doors that stick – This is a common sign of a foundation settling.
- Uneven floors. Floors that are sunken, sloped, or bowed are apparent signs of foundation problems.
- Ceilings and floors that have separated from the wall. These don’t need to be large, highly noticeable separations. Slight separations can be a serious structural problem.
- Floor cracks. Look for floor cracks that run in a straight line. Floor cracks caused by dropping something on the floor are usually limited to one or two tiles.
Learn more about foundation repair using underpinning.
- Cracked or bowed walls. The wall could either be on the exterior or interior of your home.
- Tears in wallpaper. This could be a sign that the wall behind the wallpaper is cracked.
- Wall rotation. This happens when the soil under a foundation has a lot of water in it. The building’s weight pressing down on the foundation will cause the foundation’s outside edge to sink deeper into the saturated soil. Meanwhile, the inside edge of the foundation – which sits atop drier soil – pulls up. This results in the wall rotating.
- Diagonal cracks going from the corners of doors and windows to the ceiling. If these are very thin hairline cracks, they might be from normal settling. However, larger cracks could be a sign of foundation damage.
- Moldings that have separated from the wall or ceiling. This happens because the floor, ceiling, and walls are no longer moving as one unit.
- Stair step cracks in brick and masonry. This is another sign of foundation trouble. Sometimes these cracks will be in the mortar only.
- Chimneys or porches that are separating from the rest of the house. There’s a chance this might be related to a problem with the foundation under the chimney or porch. However, a professional should look at it to make sure it isn’t caused by a problem with your home’s foundation.
Foundation Cracks Will Spread Over Time
Every crack in your foundation will only get larger if you don’t take care of it, and no, you can’t just use more concrete to fill the crack. Once a crack has formed, it needs to be professionally sealed.
As we briefly mentioned before, you could experience different foundation cracks that are vertical, horizontal or have a stair-like pattern. Each type of crack indicates a different problem that you should address. For instance, a vertical crack usually means there’s a lot of tension on the concrete. A horizontal crack results from excessive water pressure and is the most dangerous in terms of your home’s structural integrity. Finally, a stair-step crack usually means your home is settling unevenly. Depending on your property, a stair-step crack could be severe.
The Repairs Become More Expensive
Unsurprisingly, as a problem worsens, so does the bill. Imagine noticing a small crack in your basement wall and putting it off. In as little as a month, that crack could expand significantly. Originally, you would’ve had a minor expense, but your bill will have grown exponentially because the crack is larger, and the issue is possibly worse.
We’re not in the business of making a quick buck off anyone; we’re in the business of helping people keep their basements dry and their foundation solid. Even if the crack looks like nothing, give The Real Seal a call, and we’ll check it out.
Mold and Mildew Will Overrun Your Basement
Foundation issues lead to cracks, and cracks lead to leaks. Once you have even a minor leak, your basement becomes a breeding ground for mold and mildew. We don’t have to tell you that mold and mildew are dangerous, especially if they become black mold. When you notice any leaks or moisture in your basement, you should call us immediately because mold and mildew can lead to serious health complications.
As you can see, there are some serious reasons you shouldn’t ignore foundation problems. Not only does putting off repairs cost you more in the long run, but it could damage your home and make you and your loved ones sick.
Foundation Problems Reduce Your Property Value
Foundation problems only get worse the longer they stick around. This also affects the value of your home. If you plan to sell your home, property appraisers won’t ignore major foundation issues. Your foundation holds up your home, and if that fails, you risk the value of your entire home.
Increase In Utility Bills
One of the major signs of foundation problems is sticking windows and doors. Did you know that your doors and windows can also crack open? Now you have to worry about your heat or air conditioning escaping, raising your utility cost.
Most of your plumbing pipes are underneath your home. A shift in your foundation can put pressure on sewer and water lines, possibly cracking or breaking them open. Leaking water will raise your utility bills as well.
The Real Seal
As we briefly mentioned, The Real Seal wants to help you improve your home. With our expansive industry knowledge and experience, we bring the best service right to your home. So, whether you need a foundation repair in Chicago or you want a professional’s opinion, give us a call today.