3 Signs of Foundation Problems

3 Signs of Foundation Problems

Foundation problems are a huge concern for a home. Whether you’re considering the purchase of a home or interesting in maintaining your own, spotting the signs of foundation issues can allow you to take action before the problem becomes even more severe. Many foundation problems can be repaired, and the sooner that these are addressed the more likely you’ll be to save money. There are 3 major signs to look out for in a home that can indicate that there are lingering foundation concerns.

Sticking Windows

If windows tend to stick when you attempt to open or close them, this could be a sign that the foundation is not level. Similarly, a window that won’t close completely is also a sign of trouble. This is usually the result of a frame becoming warped as a home shifts on an uneven foundation. The track of the window will no longer be straight, or the panes may no longer line up evenly.

Cracks

Not all cracks are a cause for concern, but certain areas may dictate an uneven foundation. Look for cracks along the wall, especially near doors and windows. The joint where the wall meets the ceiling is also a particular area to monitor, as an unbalanced load on the wall may cause the sheetrock to crack. Cracked molding around the ceiling can also be an indicator of a shifting foundation, as the strain on the molding increases.

Jamming Doors

Doors that are difficult to open or close fully, or that refuse to latch completely are a sign of foundation troubles. These problems can often develop gradually, but you should take action as soon as you suspect that a door is becoming more difficult to open or close than previously.

If you’ve spotted any of these signs in a potential home, don’t panic. Foundations can be repaired, but you’ll need to know the extent of the damage and what is needed to fix it. Consulting with experienced foundation repair professionals is the most effective way to analyze whether a home has foundation damage and what steps can be taken to correct any issues.

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Buying a Home With Foundation Issues

Buying a Home with Foundation Issues

Signs of foundation trouble don’t automatically mean that the home is a bad deal for the buyer. In fact, you may be able to get a bargain. You’ll want advice from your realtor on this, but if the house meets your needs for features, location and price, it’s worth finding out how serious the foundation problems really are and what repair options are available. Depending on the extent of the damage, the cost of foundation repair may fall well below the discounted price of them home.

Reputable companies can correct the structural damage and many (like Allied Crawlspace Solutions) offer warranty options to help protect against shifting in the future. Keep in mind that all houses tend to settle as they age because of normal variations in weather and construction materials, especially in climates susceptible to damage, like North Alabama. Often this settling process will show up in the form of harmless cracks or other minor cosmetic conditions like small patches of loose masonry grout that can be easily and inexpensively repaired.

What you want to watch out for is cracks that keep getting bigger, walls that begin to bulge, increasingly uneven floor areas, unexpected moisture, rot or erosion around foundations and support members, doors and windows that stick or won’t latch like they used to and other signs of structural damage. When you’re shopping for a home, always insist on a report from a qualified home inspector and consider calling on a structural engineer for an evaluation if you think the foundation might be damaged.

Reputable foundation repair companies can provide an estimate which will help you and your realtor decide how to work potential repair costs into your offer for the house. In many cases, foundation problems can be resolved affordably for all parties, and sellers are often motivated to compromise rather than lose the sale. In short, foundation problems don’t have to be a deal breaker for buyers or sellers, but it’s important to ask direct questions and seek the right professional help before you commit.