Your home’s foundation is one of the most important aspects of your home, and one of the most expensive to repair. But that doesn’t mean that you should simply cross your fingers and hope for the best. Instead, homeowners who want to save on foundation repairs are prudent in diligent when it comes to inspecting their home. The reason is simple: foundation repairs are cheaper when they’re less significant, so catching problems early is key. Here are some common signs that your home may have foundation issues.
1. Leaky Basement
One of the first signs that something is wrong with your foundation is a leaky basement. Water can come into your home from a variety of different sources, from broken plumbing to worn out windows, but it also frequently comes through in foundational damage, which can leave pathways for water to enter your home. If you experience basement leaks or flooding, call a professional for an assessment right away.
If you have cracks in your foundation, it needs to be fixed. It’s as simple as that. Look around your basement for cracks every year, especially during the spring and fall, when water can cause these cracks to grow and spread. Horizontal and diagonal cracks are much more dangerous than vertical ones, since they suggest the home’s foundation is shifting quite dramatically, but vertical cracks are a problem as well. These can occur in corners, around windows and doors, and outdoors, so be sure to look for them everywhere, and with some amount of regularity.
3. Gaps in Doors and Windows
If your doors or windows aren’t flush to the floor, especially when they used to be, it may mean that your foundation is shifting. In the case of doors, it could also indicate that your door frames are simply falling apart, or that the doors were improperly hung. Garage doors, if your garage is attached to your house, is an excellent indicator of foundational shifting. Check to see that the garage door is flush to the ground when fully closed. If it isn’t, it’s a sign that your foundation is in need of a professional inspection.
Foundations are exactly what they sound like: the base upon which your home is built. They are an extremely important aspect of your home, and one that needs to be carefully assessed on a regular basis. The reasoning is simple: foundations are extremely expensive to repair, especially if there is years’ worth of damage that needs to be addressed. While foundations do fail from time to time, the easiest way to avoid those expensive repairs is to be diligent. Regularly look for these signs of foundational damage, and have a professional inspect your foundation every once and a while to look for things you may have missed. And when repairs are recommended, be sure to address the issues right away to save yourself serious financial hardship down the road.