How Can You Tell If Your Home’s Foundation Is Moving?

Are you noticing cracks in the walls and floors of your home? Do the doors and windows appear to be out of place in their frames? If you’re noticing these flaws, your home’s foundation is probably in peril. Knowing how to recognize the signs of foundation degradation and when to take action might help you solve the issue before it becomes too late.

What Happens When Foundations Move?

The foundation of a building can sometimes sink, upheave, and/or move. While such movement will render the house unlevel, the untrained eye may not notice. Instead, you may notice the following early warning signs:

Sign #1: Exterior Cracks

Fine, minor cracks in the outside walls or on the steps are normally unproblematic. Large outside fissures with a zig-zag pattern could indicate that something is wrong with the foundation. Check for cracks in the brickwork or bricks protruding from the wall.

Sign #2: Exterior Window Gaps and Wall Gaps

If you find gaps between your front door and windows, it’s possible that your foundation is shifting and dragging them apart. Water and insects such as termites can enter your home through these openings, causing even greater structural damage in the long run.

Sign #3: Musty Smells

That musty odor in basement corners and crawl spaces can potentially be a sign of foundation problems. Mildew is usually the source of the odor, which could be caused by leaking basement walls. It could be a plumbing issue, but it might also be caused by outside moisture seeping in through foundation gaps. 

Sign #4: Separation of Expansion Joints

The expansion joint is a component of a structure that compensates for movement induced by the earth shifting, changes in temperature, humidity, wind, and other factors. A weakening foundation can cause expansion joints to separate to the point where they fail, resulting in extensive cracking. A malfunctioning expansion joint, on the other hand, can cause the foundation to crumble.

Sign #5: Sagging Floors Or Ceilings

Warped flooring and ceilings might also indicate a problem with the foundation. The foundation of a house pulls apart or compacts walls and support beams as it shifts. Sagging flooring and ceilings can occur from these movements, as the weight of the home sits unevenly in specific areas. A slanted floor is a telltale symptom of foundation problems, so use a level to check your home’s slope from time to time. If you detect a consistent change in one direction, it’s time to consult an expert.

Sign #6: Walls Pull Away From The House

If a homeowner observes that an external wall is peeling away from the house, he or she should contact a professional right away. The wall may collapse if this is not addressed.

Sign #7: Doors And Windows Are Acting Up

A little WD-40 can sometimes solve a difficult window. However, if a couple of your windows and doors are becoming more difficult to close, it could be a symptom of foundation issues. The shape of the frames can be distorted as an unstable base shifts, making the doors and windows hard to latch and eventually jamming completely.

Are You Looking for a Company to Build a Foundation for Your ADU or Building? 

If you’ve been researching building a foundation for your ADU or home, then chances are that you already know about the different types of foundations available. Depending on your goals and budget, there may be several solutions available to you. Spaulding Concrete has been the SF Bay Area’s top foundation builder for over 30 years.  We’re here to fix your home’s foundation, no matter what problem may exist. We have the specialized equipment, services and professional experience that you need to make permanent improvements to your building’s foundation.  If you have an ADU and want a new one built, then take care in finding someone who understands what is involved and who can get it done right! The qualified concrete experts at Spaulding Concrete will be on schedule, on budget and meet or exceed standards by careful planning, professional execution, and strict quality control. To schedule your free quote, contact us today! We are proud to serve Alameda and Contra Costa County, including projects in Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Concord, Martinez, Pittsburg, Antioch, and Brentwood.