What Are 5 Common Types Of Foundation Problems?

Knowing about typical foundation problems and being able to recognize them early will save you a lot of time, money, and stress. The longer you wait to address a foundation problem, the worse it will get and the more money it will cost. Without a solid foundation, your home will develop a slew of other issues, including leaks and, in the worst-case scenario, the collapse of the structure.

5 Common Causes of Foundation Problems

Foundation issues aren’t usually caused by a weakened foundation. While the age of the foundation may be the reason, the source of the problem is frequently from outside the house.


Trees can grow a lot in 50-100 years, and their root systems can wreak havoc on a home’s foundation. Because some trees have extensive root systems, a tree that was sapling on a lot across the street when the house was erected could now pose a threat to the house. There are remedies, but they can be expensive, particularly if you’re dealing with an old, well-established tree.

Poor Drainage

Water may pool around your foundation if the ground around your house does not allow water to move away. As the soil expands, the foundation may collapse and the concrete may disintegrate. Water damage to the foundation might also happen if the foundation isn’t waterproofed adequately. Because concrete is porous, water can seep through it and cause damage to nearby wood structures and basement interiors if it is not waterproofed.


The volume of the soil beneath the foundation can alter. The earth may solidify more than expected if too much weight is placed on it, causing the house to sink in some sections. Alternatively, if the soil includes minerals that absorb water (known as expansive soils), the soil may expand, causing foundation damage.

Ground Swelling

Moisture and other meteorological conditions cause the ground to swell. Depending on how saturated the soil is, porous soil may expand and shrink. Another method the ground swells is through settling, which occurs as the foundation sinks into the porous ground.


When you add levels or rooms to a house, the weight on an existing foundation is increased beyond its limits. Adding new apertures, such as those for a stairwell or a skylight, may necessitate reinforcement, which may put additional stress on the foundation and cause extra problems.

Signs of Foundation Problem

Foundation Settling Or Sinking

Have your house or other structure checked if it looks to be sinking or has settlement difficulties. That’s because settling is a common symptom that you might have a foundation problem. You might notice that one side of your house is lower than the other, or that the center of your commercial structure is sinking over time. If this is the case, your foundation may need to be elevated, which would necessitate the use of interior or exterior foundation piers.

Crack In The Concrete

This could just be the result of concrete age, or it could be a sign of a problem. Hairline cracks, for example, aren’t a problem, but fissures larger than 14 inches can be dangerous. Cracks should always be plugged in to keep pests out, but they can also indicate something more serious down the road.

Sticky Doors And Windows

If a door or window starts to stick after never sticking previously, it’s possible that the walls are warped due to a weak foundation. Crooked doors and windows might potentially indicate a problem with the foundation. Your foundation may be in serious peril if a door or window frame is starting to pop out of the wall.

Upheaval In The Foundation

If your slab foundation has shifted upward, you’re dealing with foundation upheaval. This is one of the signs of a foundation problem, and it could mean your building is experiencing the polar opposite of “foundation settling.”


Moisture can enter your home through foundation cracks, causing more damage to the structure. If you see standing water under your house, a moist crawl space, excessive humidity indoors, or weird odors coming from the basement, it could be an indication that your foundation is failing. Moisture also attracts centipedes, cockroaches, and silverfish, as well as promoting mold growth and wood degradation. If you find a lot of bugs or mold in your basement, it could be a sign of foundation issues.

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.