How to Identify Foundation Problems In Your New Home
Are you the proud owner of a relatively new home and wondering how to identify foundation problems? While it’s normal to experience some settling over time, this can potentially cause damage to your home’s foundation.
Simply put, there are forces at work in the earth we simply don’t control (unstable soil, annual weather patterns, etc.). The problem is, when foundation problems go undiagnosed, MAJOR structural problems can follow throughout your new home.
The #1 Rule: get repairs done as soon as possible.
Don’t wait. If you see any of the signs we’ll go through below, then reach out to the foundation professionals like Childers Brothers right away — we serve a 300-mile radius around the Amarillo, TX area.
Whether you intend to stay in the home for the rest of your life or plan on selling within the next 5-10 years, it’s critical to understand the basics. Be able to spot foundation issues early on to save immense amounts of time, money, and headaches in the long run.
The Core 8 Signs Of Foundation Problems
- Cracks: Sure, tiny superficial cracks aren’t too big of a deal, but cracks are never a good sign. What you’re looking for are cracks along the floors and walls of your home. They can also be around the windows and doors or within supportive columns. Look for them in any foundational brickwork and masonry as well.
- Sticking: Speaking of windows and doors, are they getting harder to shut all the way? Are they losing their smooth opening and closing action? As the flooring becomes uneven over time, you’ll notice the difference.
- Gaps: Whether the gaps appear between floorboards and walls or between windows and doors, this is a bad sign. Along with the foundation issues, you’ll have water and pests coming through into your home.
- Chimney: Is the chimney leaning like the Tower of Pisa? Not good!
- Sagging: As the foundation problems in your new home become more pronounced, you’ll begin to notice sagging or slanting floors. If you have a basement, check the walls. Are they bowing?
- Moisture: As gaps widen and holes open up around the home, moisture will inevitably get in and do a number on whatever it touches. Soon you’ll start to smell that awful, musty smell: mold, wood rot, and mildew.
- Sinking: Do you have a front or back porch or stoop? Are they sinking?
- Water Damage: Where there’s moisture and water, there’s damage. Upon inspection, the water damage is sort of like a roadmap, showing where the foundation problems have been manifesting around your home.
The 3 Major Causes Of Foundation Problems
- Severe deterioration of the stem walls of your home. These sit on top of concrete foundations and act as the base for your home’s structural framing (like other attached walls and flooring).
- The foundation itself is settling far more than normal. This happens as soil shrinks and becomes increasingly unstable under the weight of your home.
- The foundation is heaving or lifting, more than normal. This is the opposite of sinking and usually causes intense amounts of hydrostatic pressure. In turn, this pressure leads to water damage, leaky or bursting pipes, poor to nonexistent drainage, and more.
Bottom Line: Foundation problems can happen to anyone in any home, whether that home is old or new. What’s important is for you to contact professionals as soon as you spot the first signs of trouble.
Conclusion: A Proper Diagnosis Is The Answer
What happens when you call your average run-of-the-mill contractor about these issues, and they send a so-called ‘expert’ out to inspect? They show up, ask a few questions, glance around the property, and maybe use a level to see how uneven things are.
Altogether, this nonsense takes about 10 minutes.
Imagine getting this treatment at the doctor’s office if you saw signs of health problems. No exams. No x-rays. No real doctor’s visit. No real diagnosis!
After nearly 50 years in this business, our Foundation Inspection is like no other.
“If the average 10-minute foundation inspection is like a nurse diagnosing you after a few questions, our 27-Point Analysis is the equivalent of your doctor performing x-rays, a CAT scan, an MRI, a head-to-toe physical exam, and a dozen other tests. That is to say, and we don’t make any sort of recommendation until we thoroughly explore every nook, crack, cranny, and possible cause of your foundation problem.”
Don’t ‘settle’ (forgive the pun) for anything less! If you’re in our service area, simply pick up the phone and Contact Childers Brothers. We’ll answer all your questions, address every concern, and get you scheduled for probably the most thorough foundation inspection in the nation! Thanks for your time today, and stay safe.