We often take for granted parts of our homes that we don’t see often. We check our walls if the paint is chipping or the roof if the tiles are falling apart, but we don’t usually check if our foundation is cracking because it’s almost hidden underneath our houses.
Unfortunately, if you don’t check your foundation regularly, you might miss some signs that it’s already broken. And when your foundation is failing, it could lead to your whole house collapsing.
So, if you want to know if your house is going to need some repairs and that you might need the help of home foundation contractors, watch out for the following signs.
1. A musty odor in the basement
Before you start checking your basement for any telltale signs of foundation problems, you need to understand first how it happens. It all starts with the soil. Soil is like a sponge in that it expands when it absorbs water during the rainy season and it shrinks when it dries up during summertime.
When the soil expands and shrinks, the movement can affect the foundation of a house. After a while, the foundation starts to bow or crack. When this happens, a space is created between the foundation and the soil.
Water can seep in that space, and where there’s moisture, mold and bacteria can develop. That’s where the musty odor will come in. If you go to your basement and you smell a musty odor, chances are mold is already growing in the space between your foundation and the soil.
2. Gaps in the walls outside
After checking the basement, start checking your external walls. Try to see if there are any gaps between your walls and the soil outside. If you see gaps, then your foundation is definitely failing.
3. Cracks in the walls
If your house is starting to sink, you’ll see the signs on your walls. Inspect all your walls for cracks, big or small. Also, check for any crumbling or flaking concrete. If you find a powdery substance on the floor near the walls, it must come from cracks.
The gist here is that when your foundation is failing, the walls will encounter a tremendous amount of stress from the whole weight of the house. So, they will either bow or start to crack.
4. Crooked doors and windows
If you find that when you close your bedroom door or bathroom window they don’t seem to close all the way anymore, your foundation could be failing. The whole house could have already shifted, and so have the doorway and windows. The doors and windows are no longer proportioned to each other.
5. Broken chimney
If you notice that your chimney seems crooked or has cracks, your foundation might be broken, too.
There are so many telltale signs that a house’s foundation is failing. As long as you keep an eye out for these signs, you’ll be able to fix your foundation before your house falls apart.