Every homeowner knows that a “bad” foundation can be a serious problem. When the foundation is buckling or damaged, it can cause both inconveniences for day-to-day living as well as potentially very serious structural issues. Settling or sinking foundations are unlikely to stop over time, meaning the problem becomes more pronounced the longer it’s left untreated. In Tennessee foundation repair often involves slab repair or power lifting of a home on a slab rather than repairs to a below-ground foundation, but both involve similar warning signs—and many homeowners are not sure what those signs are or how seriously to take them. So how do you know if you need foundation repair?
Before we dive into the main warning signs, it’s important to know one sign that is not a factor in foundation repair: home age. Many people assume that older homes are at high risk and newer homes are not in danger. The truth is that there are plenty of older homes in Tennessee (including houses over 100 years old) that have sat well with minimum settling and have no major foundation issues. Likewise, there are plenty of homes less than 20 years old that have seen settling and cracking and need foundation repair in a hurry. Home age is not, on its own, an indicator of foundation stability.
Instead, focus on these four key signs:
1. Sloping floors – Household floors should stay level over years and decades. When floors are noticeably sloped, either in a few rooms or the whole house, it’s a bad sign (sloping isn’t always visible: place a marble on the floor and see if it stays still, or look for doors and windows that stick.) If sloping exceeds an inch over 20 feet of floor, you have a problem.
2. Cracking in internal walls – Interior walls are not exposed to the elements and should not crack. Splits, lines, and cracks appearing in internal walls—including old plaster walls—usually indicate settling.
3. Leaking and cracking in basement – If you have an in-ground basement, pay attention to warning signs. Any below-ground basement is capable of leaking and flooding, but this should only occur in the heaviest rain. If you see routine leaks in the basement wall or visible cracks there is a problem.
4. Separation of masonry – Do you have brick on the exterior of your house? If so, look for places where gaps are appearing between bricks or stones. This means the wall is pulling apart due to buckling or sinking of the foundation.
There are other signs that might tip off a homeowner that they need foundation repair in Tennessee. If you are experiencing one of the above problems, you may need a foundation repair assessment. Click here or call 800-562-5438 to contact us for a free estimate.