Signs of Foundation Problems In Your Home

How do you know if you have foundation issues? Foundation sinking, cracks, and breaks happen underground and out of sight, but can have visible effects on the whole house. Here are the key above-ground indications your home’s foundation is cracked or broken. Problems only get worse over time, so if you see any of these symptoms, request a free quote to see if you need foundation repair:

Diagram of foundation problem symptoms.

Cracked Brick Walls

The most obvious and (usually) definite sign of foundation problems is cracked bricks in your external walls. Cracks in brick walls often have a zig-zag pattern, following the mortar joints. If your foundation or basement is cracked and sinking vertically, the bricks themselves can crack horizontally as well.

It’s most important, though, to realize that cracks in your brick wall is a symptom, and not the problem!  If you fix the cracking bricks by patching or filling, you’re not addressing the problem which will likely get worse. Lots of money has been wasted by filling cracks or even rebuilding portions of walls with cracked bricks, just to see the problem reoccur.

Cracked Wall

Cracks in Your Basement Walls

Whether your foundation is poured concrete or cinder block, cracks in your basement walls typically indicate foundation settlement. If your concrete blocks or poured concrete is covered by siding or stucco, it can be difficult to detect foundation movement. Be sure to keep an eye on all visible concrete near the ground or in the garage.

Like brick wall cracks, block wall cracks will often follow mortar joints in a zig-zag pattern; though it’s not uncommon to see concrete block with cracks down the center. For poured concrete foundation walls, look for wall cracks that meander and split in any direction, similar to cracks in a driveway or sidewalk.

Leaning or Separated Chimneys

Chimneys are usually attached to a support wall with mortar or other braces that typically cannot hold it in place when the foundation beneath the chimney moves. This creates a potentially dangerous situation in which a heavy and essentially detachable portion of your home begins to lean.

It’s important to have chimneys inspected as soon as you see signs of shifting, separation, leaning, or settling.  Simply attempting to fill in gaps with mortar is masking the problem that will likely get worse.

A cracked and bowing basement wall.

Cracked Basement Walls and Other Indicators

While cracked bricks and leaning chimneys are the most obvious signs of foundation issues to look for, there are other strong indicators of foundation failure such as:

  • Bowed or cracked basement walls
  • Caulk separation around windows and doors
  • Windows / doors that stick or do not close right.
  • Sagging, slanted, or cracked floors
  • Interior cracks on sheetrock

Kent Foundation Repair uses the latest piering technology to restore your sinking or cracked foundation to a level, more waterproof state. We offer many other types of foundation, basement, retaining wall, and concrete repair solutions to meet your specific needs.

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