The foundation is literally what supports your home, so it’s essential to keep an eye out for symptoms that could indicate the need for Utah foundation repair. While some foundation movement over time (usually called settling) is natural and unavoidable, too much can have consequences that reduce your home’s attractiveness and may even render it unsafe. Checking for warning signs that can point to foundation issues is not a difficult or time-consuming task, but it is one you need to perform on a regular basis.
Start with a visual inspection of your home’s exterior. Take a look at the walls first. One of the most worrisome signs of a serious problem is a gap between a wall and the rest of the house; if you spot one, it’s time to bring in the experts. Also, pay attention to the windows: window frames that are beginning to separate from the wall are very likely to mean trouble, as is a jagged pattern of cracks in the wall near a window frame (though these cracks can sometimes appear elsewhere, so don’t neglect any area). Check door frames and exterior trim as well to make sure they’re not pulling away from the walls.
Finally, take a step back and eye the house as a whole. Does it look a little off-kilter, perhaps as though one side, or even the whole house, is a bit higher than it should be? (The easiest place to spot this problem is often the outside walls of your garage.) Settling isn’t the only threat: foundation upheaval is just as menacing. The soil beneath your home can expand by a startling amount when it soaks up enough water, whether from a plumbing leak or natural weather, and if the water freezes there will be even more expansion. Homes built in areas with lots of rainfall and frequent frosts are especially vulnerable to foundation upheaval.
A foundation in need of repair can cause a wide variety of issues inside your home as well as outside. Cracks in everything from bathroom or kitchen tiles to the walls themselves point towards a possible problem. Although ceiling cracks are less likely to be caused by foundation damage, vertical or diagonal wall cracks spell trouble, especially if they’re found near door or window frames or just below where the wall meets the ceiling. Inside it’s also important to check that door and window frames (spotting a trend yet?) are still properly attached to the surrounding walls and that appliances, plumbing fixtures, countertops, built-in bookcases, even tile backsplashes and wooden trim aren’t beginning to pull away from what should be their securely-anchored spots.
There are other indoor possibilities that could signal a need for concern. Yet another way a door might sound an alert is by sticking repeatedly (or, conversely, by refusing to stay latched or to close at all) because the foundation settling has caused the door frame to shift out of its proper shape. Settling can also result in noticeably uneven floors. If you’re not certain whether the floor is really off balance or you’re just imagining things, try spilling a bit of water or gently putting down a ball to see if gravity takes over.
Mold and mildew or rotting wooden beams in your basement or crawlspace might be exacerbated by foundation problems. Too much water pooling under your home can also be a cause of foundation damage. You might need to call in a specialist to make repairs that will direct rainwater away from your foundation.
Foundation damage is a scary thought, but with a little vigilance, you can stay on top of it and fix any problems before they get worse.