Whether you’re out house hunting or own a home and suspect something is amiss – here are the signs of foundation problems.
What to keep in mind is that New Orleans is built on a swamp. We expect settlement and foundation problems to occur. It’s a matter of “can you afford to take on this problem” if you’re buying the home. For any sellers and homeowners, this can greatly affect your resale and should be remediated.
Doors are a telltale sign that something is wrong with your foundation. If your doors don’t close, won’t stay closed, or don’t open – you can bet your bottom dollar that something is going on down below.
Now, don’t forget, we live in a humid climate, and doors will stick all summer long. This doesn’t automatically mean you have a foundation issue. But, if it’s consistent and getting worse, then bring out a professional foundation contractor.
#2: Sagging floors
If you’re experiencing dips and sags throughout your raised house, it could be as simple as needing some additional support.
For a slab home, you will experience more uneven floors if there is a foundation issue. You may even feel like you’re leaning over in the house. If this is the case, call a foundation expert immediately. (However, not all uneven floors mean it’s the end of the world! It may just be some uneven settling over time)
#3: Foundation, wall, floor, and other cracks
A slab home will experience settlement and develop small cracks in the first 2-3 years after being built. Noteworthy that horizontal cracks in your exterior bricks could be a larger cause for concern. Vertical cracks are not a sign of worry – as drywall runs that direction.
Not all cracks mean you’re in trouble. But if you’re noticing them, call someone to check it all out.
One of the first signs of major sinking is one-half of your house sitting lower than the rest. When this happens, a foundation inspection will let you know what your differential is in the home. We’ve been told up to 6’ inches acceptable – but that also depends it’s over the length of the house or just in one room.
A professional foundation evaluation will take into account what is normal for the area.
The opposite of sinking this when you notice that your house is moving into the upward position. Moisture is the largest culprit when it comes to upheaval.
Heavy rains and under-slab plumbing leaks are what you will look for when experiencing this problem. This is the reason you will see sand pumped under a slab home.
#6: Windows and Exterior doors with gaps
When your doors stop latching, or you can see daylight through an exterior window frame – you’ve likely got a foundation problem. Door frames will also become crooked, double doors won’t connect evenly anymore, and spaces around the exterior doors are all signs to look out for.
All across New Orleans and the metro area, foundation issues can be found everywhere.
One last thing to remember is that if you have to handle large foundation repairs, the house will shift when you do this work.
Be prepared to then spend money on fixing cracked sheetrock and other items that will move after the repairs are completed.
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