Signs of a Bad Foundation

Of all the things that can go wrong with a house, a faulty foundation is probably one of the worst. If left untreated for a long time, there can be huge repercussions for the home. So how do you know if you’re dealing with a bad foundation? Keep reading for a few of the tell-tale signs that you might have a damaged foundation on your hands.

Drywall Cracks

Most homes in the US are built using drywall. Also known as plasterboard, sheetrock, or gypsum board, drywall is a panel that makes up the interior walls of most homes. It is fairly sturdy, but if your foundation is bad, you might start seeing some otherwise mysterious cracks show up. They are often particularly difficult to notice since they are usually so small, but if you do a walkthrough of your home and find several hairline cracks in the drywall, it’s possible that you’ve got a defective foundation.

Doors and Windows

If a foundation begins moving or settling in the ground, you’ll probably first notice it by how your doors and windows close. Or rather, how they don’t close. A shifting foundation means that all the construction on top of it is shifting as well, at different rates and in different locations. This means that your doors won’t fit in their frames as well, and windows may be a struggle to open or close.

Cracks in the Floor

If you have a basement, this is where you will notice any cracks on the floor that are related to foundation shifting. If you don’t have a basement, you’ll want to look at the first floor of your home. This is the floor that is connected to the foundation, and it will be where cracks show up early on. For example, if your basement has a water issue, it could build up on the foundation underneath the floor. As it pushes up, the floor will crack. As it sinks down, the foundation will suffer.

Cracks in the Wall

There are three main types of wall cracks that are associated with a bad foundation.

  • Stairstep Cracks – these show up in your basement wall (or first floor) when part of the foundation begins shifting or sinking before another part. As it settles, it pulls whatever is built on top of it down with it. Since only part of the foundation is settling, it only pulls down part of the walls, leading to a stairstep pattern.
  • Horizontal Cracks – these cracks are often caused by pressure from the soil outside the basement. Especially in parts of the country that experience freezing temperatures, these cracks are indicative of expanding soil, such as when it freezes and then thaws again. The constant movement of the soil places pressure on the foundation and causes the walls on top of it to crack horizontally.
  • Vertical Cracks – These types of cracks indicate that your foundation is sinking. As with the soil mentioned above, the soil underneath the foundation itself can also expand and contract, leaving space for the foundation to sink. You may notice these cracks in summer when the drier soil is conducive to foundations sinking into the soft dirt.

Bruno Guerriero Construction

If you suspect that you might have a bad foundation on your hands, a brief inspection of your home for cracks and difficult doors will reveal if it’s something you need to worry about. If you aren’t comfortable in your abilities to spot any minor cracks or damage, don’t hesitate to call us at 1 (800) 444 – 5476!