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Do you know how to identify if you have foundation issues? That is one set of problems you do not want to ignore and immediately need to address before it becomes worse.

If left untreated, foundation problems can decrease the value of your home or even wreck it. It is best to do so sooner rather than later.

Your foundations are the pillar of strength for your home. It supports the whole structure, and if there is a slight weakness in the foundation, it will work itself open, thereby weaken the base of your home.

Are you worried that you may have foundation issues? Read on to learn about ten common signs that you might be experiencing foundation issues in your home.

Foundation Issues and What Causes Them

Do you know how to identify if you have foundation issues? That is one set of problems you do not want to ignore and immediately need to address before it becomes worse.

Many factors can cause foundation issues and knowing how to identify these problems early goes a long way in maintaining your home safe.

Identifying cracks in floors, ceilings, and walls are essential when checking potential foundation damage. Yet, these are not always visible. 

If, after checking the below common signs of foundation issues, you still feel worried, this is where a home inspection can help you as a homeowner or buyer.

It is always best to address the problem sooner rather than later to avoid expensive repairs in the future.

1. Traveling Cracks

It is crucial always to scrutinize any cracks in walls or floors in the home. One way to make sure of any foundation problems is to measure the gaps every two months to ensure they are not traveling or growing in size.

If you find any new cracks be it diagonal or vertical, or existing cracks that are expanding, you may be in trouble. Schedule a home inspection immediately so that you can address the issue straight away.

It goes without saying that if you spot a crack in the floor that something is not quite right below. The foundation supports your floors, and that means that something is moving down there! That is a clear sign that something is not stable and secure.

2. Gaps Between Exterior Walls and Windows

A shifting foundation can be the cause of your house falling apart and can also cause your windows and doors to pull away from the floor and walls. These gaps can make room for mold, insects, and moisture. That will start other problems.

Apart from the more severe problems above, these shifts in the window frames and door frames can make your home less appealing and, therefore, lower in value.

3. Check For Slanting Ceilings and Floors

Does your house feel lopsided? The foundation shifts can cause your home to sit unevenly on its base. That will cause sagging ceilings and uneven floors.

Use a spirit level to monitor your home’s slope regularly if you suspect a problem. Even a small pitch downwards or upwards can grow in time. If you notice a continual dip, call in the professionals.

4. Chimney Cracks

Do you look at your chimney and think it’s crooked? Unbalanced or unlevelled foundations can lead to a chimney moving left, right, up and down, and even wholly uncentred.

Rather have somebody check this out even if the foundations are not the cause; it is dangerous to have a loose chimney on the house.

5. Moldy Basement Smells

Tiny cracks in the foundations will let moisture in and bring mildew and mold problems. Apart from that, recurring mold in corners means water is seeping through your home.

Check mold-prone areas to see if it results from foundation-related gaps that could allow water to seep in.

6. Popping Nails & Tiles

While nails popping off walls is expected from time to time, you should investigate movement in your foundations if it happens excessively.

As with nails popping off the walls, watch for cresting tiles.  That could be a sign of compression from the foundations onto the walls.

 7. Bowing Walls

If you notice any walls beginning to bow, in or out, it could be that your home’s foundation is on the move. It could be that the foundations are sinking or lifting. Before you take drastic measures, though, make sure that it is the wall and not a paint blister.

If you suspect this is happening, you may want to call for a home inspection to check that everything is okay.

8. Static structures Attached to Walls Moving Away From Walls 

If you notice that static structures such as kitchen cupboards and bedroom cupboards that were once attached to the wall now have small gaps between them and the wall, look into the foundation.

If the floors and walls are no longer level in your home, this causes the things attached to the floors and walls to detach or crack in response. Even if you overlook the de-leveling, you can see the detaching.

9. Trees and Plants Planted Too Near To the House

Take note to see that roots have not grown beneath your home’s foundation or driveway. Roots from trees search for moisture and nutrients. If you have water seeping through under your home, tree roots will travel towards it. Roots can potentially crack and move foundations.

If you suspect that you have foundation damage from a tree’s roots, call a professional tree feller. DIY removal could cause you even bigger headaches!

A general rule for planting trees is to plant them at least fifteen feet from any structure. That will stop roots from interfering with foundations and piping.

10. Staircase and Decking Mis-Alignment

Have you noticed a problem with your steps or porch? Do you see sinking, tipping, tilting, or even gaps pulling away from walls?

There are several reasons this can happen, but most of them boil down to the soil, shifting below the foundation of your home. That is not only dangerous but can also devalue your home significantly.

Secure Your Foundations

If you suspect and have noticed any one or many of the signs above, it may be foundation issues. Irrespective of the underlying cause, foundation issues can reduce the value of your home considerably. The severity of the foundation issue will depend on how much the value drops by.

As the Irish say, “to be sure, be sure,” why not get a home inspection done. A home inspector can find problems that you may not see.

If you need a home inspection in the Northeast Ohio area, head on over to our page and contact us!