As homeowner, there is no worse nightmare than having to repair your home’s foundation. Not only is the process expensive and extremely time-consuming, it is also quite nerve-wracking, since the long-term safety and viability of your Houston area home depends on having a solid foundation.
But how do you recognize a house with foundation problems? Of course, you could look for major cracks around the base of the house, but usually foundation problems creep up more subtly than that, and can be spotted before large cracks appear. If you keep your eyes peeled for the problems described here, you will be able to recognize foundation issues at the first sign of trouble.
Actually, the number one sign of foundation issues is nothing to do with the house, but rather with the soil beneath it. In almost all cases, houses with damaged foundations have been built on “shifting sands,” which over time will bend and ultimately break the house’s foundation, no matter how sturdy it once was. So if you see a home built in thin or sandy soil, you can virtually guarantee that eventually it will experience foundation issues. Look closely at the house itself to make sure that the foundation isn’t already damaged.
Ill-Fitting Doors and Windows
If one door in your home doesn’t shut quite as easily as it once did, then there might be a problem with a hinge, or the frame could have been warped by too much moisture. But if all (or many) of your doors and windows gradually start sticking, or not quite closing, then there is a much a bigger problem, one that probably begins with your house’s foundation. As that foundation weakens and then settles, openings like doors and windows will warp imperceptibly, which makes them much harder to open and close. There is almost no surer sign of foundation troubles than this.
Space Between Ceilings and Moldings
If your house has moldings along the ceiling, pay close attention to how snugly they fit against the walls and the ceiling itself. Assuming they were properly installed in the first place, they should be securely joined, and the nails holding them in place should keep them snug for decades, if not longer. If that is not the case, and you see gaps forming between molding and ceiling throughout your home, then unfortunately there is a very good chance you have foundation issues in need of repair.
Wallpaper Bunching and Creasing
Another very obvious sign of foundation problems is when your wallpaper starts to either bunch, tear, or crease on the wall. Again, this could also be caused by excessive moisture, so be sure that the room or rooms affected haven’t been overly humid. But if the problem is arising throughout your home and you haven’t had issues with humidity, then this bunching is probably due to your foundation settling and bending your walls.
Foundation problems threaten the stability of your Houston area home, and the safety of everyone inside it. Make sure that you are aware of the key signs of foundation troubles, and act as soon as you recognize them.