Signs of Foundation Damage

Signs of Foundation DamageWhen purchasing a new home or making renovations on your existing home, there might be more important issues to address such as fixing your home’s foundation instead of installing a pretty backsplash in your kitchen. Fixing your foundation might not be the most exciting part of your home makeover, but it is the most important. Signs such as little cracks and sloping uneven floors can turn into major issues—both structurally and financially. Let’s review the most common signs of foundation damage to your home.

Causes of Foundation Damage

When part of your foundation unexpectedly shifts, it can cause damage to your home. Damages could include cracks and uneven floors, also causing the doors and windows in your home to shift as well. If you are experiencing any of these issues in your home this could be caused by a number of things in your foundation, including:

  • Evaporation: Hot dry wind and intense heat can often cause the soil to shrink beneath the foundation. The lack of support around the area can cause shifting and settling, causing cracks to appear.
  • Plumbing leak: Water from plumbing leaks can cause foundation problems. Sometimes there are leaks that you don’t know about, such as a leak in the sanitary sewer (drain that takes incoming water away from your home and back to city’s service).
  • Drainage: Constant moisture in concentrated spots can cause the soil to settle and compact in that area creating uneven support. Excess moisture can cause erosion which will remove soil that supports the foundation walls.
  • Inferior foundation construction: Insufficient steel and inferior concrete can cause movement in the slab. If quality building materials are not used, the entire foundation will be weaker and more susceptible to problems.

Identifying Foundation Damage

Early detection of foundation damage could save you a lot of time and money. If you see the following signs in your home such as cracks, uneven floors, gaps in the door and window frames, call a professional right away. Catching the problem early could save you thousands of dollars.

Stair Step Cracks

If your home is made of brickwork or concrete blocks, then you could see something known as stair step cracks—a big indicator of foundation damage. Stair step cracks are cracks in between the surrounding blocks that resemble a staircase. This is caused by the foundation of your home shifting and causing the blocks or bricks to split.

Door & Window Gaps

Seeing gaps between the frames of your windows and doors? Soil movement and poor drainage can cause that. This is an easy fix when you’re experiencing foundation damage. If not fixed as soon as possible, hot or cold air (depending on the temperature outside) can sneak its way inside your home and you’ll be sure to see an increase in your heating or electric bill. Make sure to have a professional look at the shifts and gaps right away so that doesn’t happen.

Uneven Floors

Uneven floors are caused by the columns and beams sagging under your home.  When the foundation settles or shifts, it causes the beams and supports resting on it to shift as well, which can cause the floors to distort as the beams they rest on change distance or elevation. Shifting soil, humidity from water seepage, and inadequate foundation waterproofing can contribute to flooring issues.

If you see any of these signs and are worried about how much this is going to cost you, your homeowners insurance may be able to provide coverage. Homeowners insurance is your safety net for unexpected problems that can damage or destroy your home and your possessions. Want to learn more about what is covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy?  Contact the experts at TJ Woods Insurance.