If your house has foundation problems you can experience problems both inside and out. Here are three tips to help you spot foundation problems in your home:
Inside your home you will notice a number of issues that will be easy to spot. First you will notice issues such as doors and windows that are always jamming or that can’t seem to latch properly. You might also see cracks in your walls. This is usually more noticeable above doors as well as windows. You can also see them where your ceilings and walls meet. If you have concrete floors beneath tile or vinyl there can also be cracks appearing in your floor coverings.
Inside your basement you can find some telltale signs you have foundation problems. One sign is a musty smell that can be caused by dampness seeping through your foundation. You might also note a chalky, crumbly substance on your basement walls or brown staining that looks rusty. Cracks can appear in your walls or floor. This can be harder to spot in a refinished basement. However if you see signs of buckling or mould on your drywall this can also be a sign you have seepage issues.
If you do notice any of the above basement or interior issues take a walk outside your house. Look at the foundation and see if you can spot any obvious damage. If you see hairline cracks appearing between concrete blocks do not be too worried about these as they are common and can occur for any number of reasons. What you do want to worry about is L-shaped cracks which might require repairs. They are not major but if left unchecked could lead to leaks. They are usually the most noticeable at steps if your home is built into a hillside for example. Bigger concerns include stair step cracks which might appear with bulging. Cracks wider than a quarter of an inch can also be dangerous.
The worst cracks are horizontal. Horizontal cracks are an indication you have water saturation occurring when the soil freezes. This can force the foundation to break leading to serious leaks and water damage.
Take a walk around your house in the spring and fall to watch for signs of problems. This way you can be proactive in addressing issues before they become serious.