Recognizing the 12 Signs of Foundation Damage and Water Intrusion in Your Home
- FRACTURED BRICK
Cracks in brick cladding may indicate a sunken footing. Look for “stair stepping” cracks near windows and doorways, running vertically or diagonally near the ground and foundation corners.
- WET CRAWL SPACE
Excessive moisture, staining or standing water in the crawl space is a sign of foundation failure and may cause mold growth and poor indoor air quality.
- CREAKY/BOUNCING FLOOR
Do certain areas of your floor creak? Does the china cabinet rattle? These are signs that your home’s framing may be warped by a shifting foundation or water damage, or may indicate the need for added structural supports.
- WET/DAMP BASEMENT
Standing water in the basement or even a musty smell is another indicator that potentially harmful water is not draining away from the foundation.
- DRAFTY/ POOR INDOOR AIR
Drafty or low-quality indoor air may indicate gaps in your home’s insulation, especially around the floor and rim joists. These gaps may lead to an increase in mold and utility costs as unconditioned air is pulled through your basement or crawl space into your living area.
- FRACTURED BASEMENT WALLS
Expansive soil pressure or lateral earth movement may cause horizontal cracks and moisture intrusion. This may eventually cause the basement wall to bow inward, then fracture and finally collapse.
- STANDING WATER
Standing water or “ponding” around the outside of the structure may be caused by improper exterior drainage. This excess water may contribute to severe structural damage and poor indoor air quality.
- CRACKS IN INTERIOR OR EXTERIOR CONCRETE
Uneven, sunken concrete slab, garage slab, separation of concrete slabs, steps, patio, or sidewalks all may be signs of volatile soil or settlement and should be repaired before becoming hazardous. This may also cause moisture intrusion-leading to rotting thresholds, mold, and poor indoor air quality.
- MALFUNCTIONING DOORS OR WINDOWS
Doors and windows that stick may indicate the warping or distortion of your home’s frame due to foundation failure and moisture intrusion.
- CRACKED INTERIOR WALLS
Vertical cracks in interior sheetrock or plaster, as well as displaced molding or wood trim, may indicate a sinking foundation caused by soil-bearing failure. Look for these signs around windows, wall openings, and interior corners.
- EXTERIOR MILDEW/STAINS
Persistent mildew or staining on exterior walls and siding may indicate insufficient draining of stormwater around the structure. Serious structural problems may result, as this water is absorbed into the soil and around the foundation.
- ITCHY EYES/RUNNY NOSE
Poor indoor air quality resulting from crawl space or basement conditions may cause difficulty breathing and an increase in allergy-like symptoms include a runny nose, itchy eyes, and congestion.
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