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8 Signs Your Home Has a Foundation Problem

Woman working to open a sticking window.

Are you playing detective in your own home, noticing quirky signs that something might be amiss? You’re not alone!

Many homeowners overlook subtle clues—especially when it comes to foundation issues. From mysterious cracks to doors that just won’t close right, your home has ways of signaling for help.

In this article, we’ll review the eight signs your home may have a foundation problem, helping you understand when to call in the experts and ensure your home stays safe and sound.

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Cracked foundation

Warning Signs of Home Foundation Damage

Let’s dive into the eight telltale signs that suggest your home might be experiencing foundation issues:

Cracked slab floor.

1. Drywall Cracks or Floor Cracks

Horizontal, vertical, diagonal, or stair-step patterned cracks appearing on drywall, concrete floors, bricks, and around window and door frames are among the most common signs of foundation damage.

Drywall crack.

2. Sticking Doors and Windows

Windows and doors that are difficult to open or close or misaligned within their frames indicate foundation damage. 

Gap between floor and wall

3. Floor and Wall Gaps

Gaps in floors, walls, doors, or windows indicate foundation settlement or movement.

Evidence of sagging floor inside a home.

4. Sagging or Uneven Floors

Sagging, slanting, bouncy, and uneven floors often indicate failing structural supports beneath the home due to moisture, mold, wood rot, or unstable soil.

Chimney pulling away from the home.

5. Leaning or Cracked Chimney

A leaning, cracking, or separating chimney may indicate unstable or shifting soil beneath the foundation.

bowing basement wall.

6. Bowing Basement Walls

Basement walls can buckle inward due to hydrostatic pressure from surrounding soil, causing foundation damage. 

Man smelling something foul.

7. Musty Smells

Mold growth and musty basement or crawl space smells result from moisture or water infiltration from a damaged foundation.

Basement water heater leaks and rust.

8. Basement Water Leaks

Water infiltration, leaks, and flooding are often linked to foundation damage.

Now that you’re familiar with the eight key signs of foundation damage, you can be more proactive in monitoring your home’s condition. Early detection is crucial for addressing these issues effectively, so if you notice any of these signs, consult a Groundworks professional for a thorough inspection and repair estimate.

The Causes of Foundation Damage

If you notice signs of foundation damage, you may wonder about the cause. While some homeowners attribute the issues to initial construction practices, environmental factors, such as soil composition and weather conditions, are the primary culprits behind most foundation problems.

Soil composition varies by region, but all soils contain elements of sand, silt, and clay. In southern states, sandy soils with quick draining capabilities are most common, while expansive clay soils and silt soils with moderate drainage properties are prevalent throughout the country.

Regardless of the soil type, several factors contribute to foundation damage:

list of the causes of home foundation problems
  • Inadequate compaction during the initial home construction
  • Soil expansion and softening during wet and rainy seasons
  • Soil shrinkage during droughts and dry seasons

According to Realtor.com, the top three causes of foundation problems are degradation of stem walls, foundation settlement, and foundation heave, all of which can be attributed to soil conditions. Foundation settlement occurs when the soil beneath the home shrinks and becomes unstable. Foundation heave happens when soil rises, usually due to settling in other areas.

Other factors contributing to foundation damage include:

Tree roots causing problems for homeowners.

How Groundworks Repairs Foundation Damage

Groundworks employees repairing walls.

Now that you know more about foundation problems and their causes, your next step is to repair the damage. The longer it persists, even if it appears minimal, the worse it will become. Cracks will expand, the settlement will worsen, and issues like uneven floors will become increasingly unsafe.

Our solutions include:

  • Carbon Fiber Straps: Low-profile carbon fiber straps, 10 times stronger than steel, are epoxied to cracked or bowing basement walls to reinforce them and prevent further movement.
  • Wall Repair System: For inward bowing walls that require straightening without exterior excavation, Groundworks uses the IntelliBrace™ wall repair system. Unlike conventional static I-beams, IntelliBrace™ supports are adjusted periodically to restore walls to their original positions.
  • Wall Anchors: Wall anchors permanently stabilize bowing foundation walls by counteracting hydrostatic pressure. Steel rods connect earth anchors to the basement’s interior wall plates. These components can be tightened using specialized equipment to straighten the walls over time. 
  • Crawl Space Support Jacks: Our IntelliJack™ crawl space support jacks reinforce and lift floors above the crawl space. We customize these supports to accommodate your crawl space’s height requirements.
  • Foundation Piers: Foundation piers permanently stabilize and potentially lift foundations to their original position. These piers include helical piers, push piers, and slab piers.

Foundation repair is not a DIY project and should be left to professionals. A professional inspection and repair process ensures a comprehensive, long-term solution.

With locations in over 30 states, Groundworks offers foundation repair and waterproofing solutions nationwide to permanently protect your home’s safety, integrity, and value.

Foundation repair costs vary, depending on the extent of the damage and the repairs your home requires. Contact us for a free inspection, a tailored repair strategy, and a detailed cost estimate.

Download this foundation problem signs guide.

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Trust Groundworks to Inspect and Repair Your Foundation

Foundation problems require a tailored repair strategy that addresses the underlying causes of damage. Entrusting foundation repairs to your local Groundworks professionals is the most effective way to ensure a safe living environment. Our crews understand that your home is more than just a house, and they promise superior service and solutions to prove it.

Book a free inspection today.

FAQs

While some minor issues might be temporarily alleviated with quick fixes, lasting repairs generally require professional assessment and intervention.

Yes, unresolved foundation issues can significantly decrease your home’s market value and make it difficult to sell.

Regular maintenance, proper drainage, and monitoring for early signs of trouble can help prevent many common foundation issues.