How to Identify Dangerous Foundation Issues

by Paul Valeri 06/02/2019

Buying a property is one of the best decisions a person can make; it is also a great way to invest. After spending a lot of money to buy or build on a property, the condition of the house should be paramount. Having to deal with foundation issues can be daunting; it can take a lot of money to repair a damaged foundation.

The foundation of a home is what holds all other structures in place. If the foundation was laid incorrectly or without the proper tests and procedures, it could cause problems for the owner in the future. The types of foundation are the pier, beam, and concrete. It's best to know what kind was used for your property to look out for tell-tale signs of weakness or deterioration of the foundation.

A damaged foundation is a result of various environmental elements and stress like expanding and contracting soil, a terrible drainage system or excessive moisture. This stress over time causes the foundation to begin to weaken, resulting in uneven floors in the house, cracks on the walls and gaps in exterior doors.

The following are signs that indicate that you are likely having foundation issues:

Cracks in the walls.

A crack in the wall can be a sign of a foundation problem. If you notice floor cracks, a broken chimney, or wall fissures in your house, this might be your first sign of a damaged foundation.

Sinking floor. 

Have you noticed that some parts of your property are falling? Have them checked out to be sure it's not a foundation problem. One part of the house over time will be lower than the other if a sinking or settling floor is left unattended too long. Sinking or settling occurs when the ground the property is built on begins to collapse under the weight of the structure. Areas of the house that used to be even would begin to sag or dip. You would notice that such areas will not be on the same level as other parts on the property. It could be as a result of soil shift, humidity from water seepage or poor drainage system. 

Doors that don’t open or close properly. 

Another tell-tale sign of foundation issues is when the interior doors begin to stick or drag. Exterior doors may frequently leave space at the edge creating an uneven appearance.

Gaps around window frames. 

Did you suddenly notice gaps around your window or door? A faulty foundation can be the cause. Double-hung windows will be difficult to close because of the unevenness and inability to align the sash correctly.

Dampness in the basement.

Is your basement or crawl space becoming damp without any apparent source of moisture? Damp basement can cause a lot of problems like a moldy smell, mold growth, and uneven or saggy floors. 

Ask a professional engineer or contractor to help you investigate these signs to ascertain if it is a foundation problem. Discuss how you might go about fixing it and explore different options. Most of these evaluations are usually free and can save you thousands of dollars.

About the Author
Author

Paul Valeri

Put my record as the longest standing Certified Residential Specialist in all of Western Connecticut to work for you today. Licensed broker in CT since 1973, REALTOR Emeritus, I remain at your service, full-time and vital as ever, specializing in Fairfield and Litchfield county residential & serious commercial activity. My picture on the porch of my current home speaks to the fact that I, also, specialize in the design, sale, and construction of classic full log homes, carefully crafted out of specimen full logs originating from First Nation forests off the west coast of British Columbia. Scandinavian scribed, these full log homes are rarely, if ever, available in the eastern United States.

Paul Valeri: born In 1948, married, resides in Bridgewater, CT in their lodge of full log western red cedar. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame. Bronze Star decorated Vietnam Veteran. Owner-Broker of Paul Valeri, REALTORS since 1975. President of the Non-Profit Development Corp of Danbury since 1981. Founder of Danbury’s Vet House, home for ten previously homeless veterans. Canadian Board of Directors for the Miramichi Salmon Association, and founder of its First Cast MSA, a mentorship program that introduces new blood to Atlantic salmon fly fishing. Trustee with the Danbury Museum & Historical Society and its Moderator for The Hat City Ball.

Hobbies include mountain hiking, fly fishing, and playing golf (badly), walking preferred!