While no homeowner wants the stress of dealing with a damaged foundation, for many people it is an unfortunate inevitability. If you have noticed any early signs of foundation problems, it’s a good idea to have the Fort Worth foundation damage repair experts at G.L. Hunt come give you a free estimate – the longer problems are allowed to persist, the more extensive and costly repairs become. That’s why we always recommend that you keep a close eye on your home to spot these symptoms of foundation problems so you can fix them before they get out of hand.
What causes foundation damage?
Foundation damage is caused by problems in the soil your home is built on. Most soil in the United States is some type of expansive soil, meaning it soaks up and holds in water which makes the soil expand. Then, when the water dries from the soil, it shrinks down again. This cycle of expansion and shrinking causes problems for your foundation because it creates hydrostatic pressure and shifts the soils from beneath your foundation.
WHAT IS HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE?
Hydrostatic pressure is the weight of the water in the soil as it presses against a solid object, like your foundation. Water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon, and thousands of gallons can fall in a relatively short rainfall. Without proper water management, heavy rain will cause the soil around your foundation to swell. As it does so, it puts an excessive amount of pressure and stress on your foundation walls. When the soil finally dries out and shrinks away from your foundation, hydrostatic pressure is relieved but your foundation now sits on less stable shifting soil. This continuous cycle is what leads to foundation damage like cracks and leaking water.
What are the symptoms of foundation damage?
Normal foundation settlement generally won’t cause any noticeable issues for your home. However, if your Fort Worth home is settling unevenly or sinking due to foundation damage, there are various early signs of foundation damage you can look for that will alert you to the need for foundation repair.
Foundation cracks are a major indicator that something is wrong with your home’s foundation. Cracks that are less than ⅛” wide are generally nothing you need to worry about and can simply be patched. However, foundation cracks that are more than 1/8th” wide and horizontal usually mean your foundation is in need of repair.
BOWING WALLS OR GAPS WHERE THE WALL AND FLOOR MEET
If you have bowing walls in your house or your basement, it is imperative to get the situation remediated quickly. Bowing walls pose a danger of falling in and can cause significantly more damage to your home. Not to mention that bowing walls are often accompanied by cracks. Cracks in your foundation allow moisture to enter your home, which will only exacerbate your problem.
STICKING WINDOWS AND DOORS THAT DON’T SHUT EASILY
Some people think their sticking windows or doors that don’t quite fit the frame anymore are signs of normal house settlement, but that isn’t the case. If your house has become so uneven that basic functions like opening windows and doors are a challenge, you are dealing with foundation damage that needs to be addressed.
UNEVEN OR BOUNCY FLOORS
Have you ever walked across your floor and heard the knickknacks rattle on their shelves? A properly supported floor won’t have this much movement to it. Upper-level wood floors that are uneven, saggy, or bouncy are likely caused by foundation issues. However, they could have other causes as well, such as an interior basement or crawl space columns shifting or floor joists sagging. Our experts can pinpoint what is causing your floors to be uneven and find a solution.