Sign of cracks, Are those always visible?

Sign of cracks, Are those always visible?

Sign of CracksSigns of foundation trouble can take many forms: cracks, leaks, and listing floors. These signs are not always immediately noticeable; for example, a minor leak may not become “visible” until you have already begun to smell a musty, mildewy scent, or felt an increase in humidity when the overall levels in your home are rather dry. In order to address these issues at the source, sometimes some sleuthing is necessary.
The integrity of your depends on the foundation, but due to its very nature, your foundation is under a lot of stress. Soil expansion and contraction, high moisture, inadequate drainage, and other similar issues are some of the most common threats to your foundation. These environmental stresses can cause your foundation to shift over time, crack, or settle into place unevenly.
Here are some ways to spot foundation troubles early, and what you can do to minimize future issues.

Cracking in Strange Places

Oddly enough, issues with your home’s foundation often become “visible” in every other area of your home besides the foundation itself. Some common early warning signs of foundation trouble include:
• Cracks in plaster walls inside your home
• Basement walls cracking from floor to ceiling
• Doors that stick all of a sudden, or cease to close and seal correctly
• Pooling water near slab foundations
• Wet crawl spaces after precipitation
• Strange smells in the basement – mildew, mold, vegetation smells
• Uncomfortable indoor humidity
Essentially, anytime anything changes and there is no obvious cause (your basement has not been flooded from a fouled laundry load or busted water pipes; you have not been replacing floors or walls; you have not replaced your door or refit the jamb anytime recently, etc.), it may be worth it to check the foundation.

Get Answers

Start at the lowest level of your home (basement, crawl space) and go through a full examination of the area. If you encounter a musty or moldy odor, or liquid pooling where it should not be pooling, you are more than likely seeing the signs of foundation issues.
Additionally, if you begin to see insects in your basement or crawl spaces, that can be an indication of excessive moisture. If you can catch it early enough, you will not have an infestation on your hands in addition to needing foundation repairs. Some bugs to look for that prefer wet basements and indicate foundation issues include:
• Centipedes
• Pill bugs (“rolly-polies”)
• Silverfish
• Earwigs
• Carpenter ants
• Roaches
Obviously, if you see something as drastic as a wall bowing outward, or baseboards separating from their corners, this is an obvious indicator of foundation trouble. But sometimes the smallest hints can point you in the right direction as well. This is where watching for bugs and insects comes in handy.

What types of soil are most prone to causing foundation issues?

Generally speaking, soil shifts. It contracts and expands as the moisture level in the soil decreases and increases, respectively. There are three basic types of soil: clay, sand, and loam. The soil with the most propensity for retaining water, and thereby the most likelihood for causing trouble with your foundation, is clay. The tiny particulates that make up a clay soil pack tightly around water molecules, and keep the water from draining away effectively. This means that clay-based soils are the cause of most foundation issues in the southern and Midwestern areas of the United States.
Are you concerned that your foundation might be experiencing issues? Contact us at Urgent Foundation Repair for a consultation today!