13 Oct

Is My Foundation Jacked Up?

Houston, I Think We Have A Problem!

foundationIf you think you have a foundation problem the first thing that pops into your mind are dollar signs. Foundation problems can be very costly if not addressed right away. Just with any type of maintenance the sooner you detect and fix a problem the less it will cost you in the long run.  Living in North Texas you know the ground shifts a lot, and seeing foundation cracks may be inevitable.  As your trusted handyman, I can suggest that you contact a reputable Dallas home inspector (DallasHomeInspectionCo.com) if you notice any issues with your foundation.

Here are a few tips or signs of things you can look for while indoors to help prevent small problems from turning into large scale problems.

door and window

  • Doors Begin To Jam or Not Latch
    • If you ever notice that your doors are having a hard time opening and closing there may be cause for concern. Doors that once easily closed and latched, now do not latch or they jam up while opening and closing is a good indicator that your house is settling an you could be having foundation issues.
  • Windows Begin To Stick
    • Over time you may notice that your windows become hard to open or close, they may stick and require force to move the, or they simply will not open or close all the way. These are all signs of possible foundation issues and your house settling.
  • Cracks In The Walls
    • Keep an eye out for cracks that start forming in the walls. You may see these most likely over doors and windows or where the wall meets up with the ceiling.
  • Cracks In The Floor
    • Cracks in the floor are most noticeable with tile or concrete flooring. You most often times will miss these cracks and not see them if you have carpeting or hardwood covering the floor. So keep an eye out for the other warning signs to help alert you when there are issues.


Outdoor Inspections

Being aware of how your foundation looks on the outside is also a good thing to be aware of at all times. If you take care of your own lawn you can easily do this inspection every time you mow the lawn. If you hire a lawn service, then you should make a point to walk the perimeter of your home at least once per month to look for issues.

The first thing you should do is check to make sure your foundation is straight. Stand at one corner of the house and look down the length of the house. Make sure the foundation is basically straight both side to side and up and down. If you notice any bulges or curves, this could be an indication that your foundation has started to shift.


Foundation Cracks

Foundation cracks can really cause you to panic, but you need to understand that concrete does shrink as it cures and can cause tiny cracks. Usually you will find a few cracks in any foundation, but knowing which cracks to be concerned about is key.

  • Hairline cracks are typically nothing to worry about. Keep an eye on them to make sure they do not grow.
  • Masonry stair step cracks should be more of a cause for concern. Check for bulging walls or cracks larger than ¼ inch. This typically indicates you are having a moisture issue and it should be addressed as soon as possible.
  • Horizontal cracks are the most serious cracks, and are typically pretty bad news. These cracks are typically water related as well, but more so of the fact of the ground freezing and expanding, which pushes into the foundation and then shrinking away as the moisture goes away.

If you ever feel you are having a foundation issue it is a good idea to get an engineer out to do a full inspection for you. Hopefully for you the inspection will reveal that there is no real issue for you to worry about, and you will find that the money spent on the inspection is well worth putting your mind at ease. In the event the inspection does reveal a major problem, then count yourself lucky that you were on top of things and can get repairs completed before they become worse and cost more money.

Home ownership is great but does come with a price. Being an informed home owner can be the best tool you have in your tool belt. If at have any further questions please contact me by visiting our contact us page.   I can give you my recommendations again for the best home inspector in the Dallas area.