Many reasons can cause a foundation to crack, and there are some signs to watch for if you are concerned that your home may be in an area where this can occur. If you discover your neighbors have the same problems, you should also begin looking for the dreaded signs. The damage can cause devastation or be a cosmetic issue. Here is some information to aid you in deciding which problem you may be facing.
Signs That Indicate Your Foundation Is Cracking
- Windows or doors jam when you attempt to open them
- Walls begin to crack
- Wallpaper separates or curls from the wall
- Walls begin to bulge or bow inward
- Nails may pop out from the sheet rock
- Cracks along the outside walls appear in a stair-step or horizontal formation
- The fireplace may begin to crack
- Chimneys may begin to tilt
- Floors begin to sink over crawl space areas
- Caulking may pull away from surfaces outside the home
- Sinkholes begin to show in the yard and start getting larger
Causes of Foundation Cracks
The reasons can vary from the house's weight resting on the foundation, the earth's pressure, as well as uneven and settling soils.
Excessive moisture causes the soil to swell and creates a high amount of pressure on the home's foundation, creating a crack. The moisture can come from a high level of water on the surface, resulting in poor drainage from irrigation or rainwater. Water off the roof may also collect around the home's base.
Lack of moisture may also be a problem causing the soil to shrink around the foundation. New homes may hold moisture causing the foundation to hold the moisture longer than the soil. This causes the house to settle when the soil begins to lose moisture.
Some soil may be heavy and moist and other parts may be light and dry. This mixture can also cause the house to shift. Seasonal changes also influence the moisture content, causing a foundation to crack.
The soil may not have received enough compaction at the time of construction, making the house settle unevenly. You may not be able to control all of the techniques, but you should be able to keep the soil around the house at an appropriate level to eliminate further damage.
Elements may differ from the ones listed in this summary, but these are all good indications you may have foundation issues. Damages can occur to new and old homes, so you must be prepared and know the signs of serious problems. If the issues are not confronted, the damage could become more serious to the already weakened foundation. You should contact a professional if these issues are observed to ensure your home will remain a safe dwelling. For more information on foundations and help with repairs, consider contacting a professional like those at Brockman Engineering.