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Houses naturally settle in the first several years after they are built. However, if you start to notice new, or expanding cracks in your walls, whether they are in the basement or on the upper floors, this can be the sign of a foundation issue. The type of crack can often tell you a little bit about what might be causing the issue.
If your floors are uneven or sloping, chances are there is something going on with the foundation under your home. A good test of sloping floors is to drop a round object, such as a marble or ball on the floor. If it rolls across the floor all the way to wall, you may be experiencing uneven floors.
Cracks in your basement floor or the slab beneath your house may be an indication of shifts in the soil beneath your home. Depending on the type of soil beneath your foundation, moisture levels (rain/draught) in the earth can cause the ground to heave and shrink creating cracks in your slab or basement floor.
Water in your basement can be costly and frustrating. There are many things that can cause water in the basement. Flooding from storms, busted water pipes, sump pump failure, washing machine overflows, and even water entering the basement through cracks in the foundation.
If you notice condensation forming on the walls, beams, or insulation in your basement, or there is visible water running down the walls, there is a good chance that moisture is entering your basement through either the floor or walls and can cause foundation issues. Another tell-tale sign that you have moisture in your basement is a musty smell. This usually indicates the presence of mold and/or mildew caused by water in the basement.
Bowing walls in your basement usually indicates a build-up of water, known as hydrostatic pressure, against the exterior side of your basement walls. This water pressure is generally caused by poor drainage of the water surrounding your home. Do you notice water pooling in your yard after a big rain? If so, it's important to speak to a foundation repair expert to determine if damage has already been caused to your foundation and to prevent future foundation issues.
Water in Crawlspace
Although you might assume that moisture in your crawl space is natural given the dirt flooring, moisture can cause several foundational issues in your crawlspace. Condensation on wooden beams and posts will rot the wood over time which can lead to sagging floors or even separation of your floors from the wall, leaving large gaps.
Do your floors feel spongy or uneven? Sagging floors can be caused by a variety of things happening in your crawl space. You may even notice places where the wall has separated from the floor, leaving a gap beneath the wall. Whether this is caused by movement in the ground beneath your crawl space or sagging beams or posts, it's important to involve a professional foundation repair specialist to identify the exact cause.
You might think that moldy smell in your crawlspace is normal given its exposure to the elements, but that smell is actually caused by gasses that are released from mold and mildew growth. Mold and mildew thrive in dark, wet places. Since over 50% of the air in your crawlspace can actually travel upwards into your home, carrying with it harmful mold spores, it's important to address that moldy smell.
Bugs in Crawlspace
Bugs absolutely love dark, damp places with moderated temperatures and active food sources. If you have a lot of bugs in your crawlspace, chances are there is water entering the area beneath your home. Since bugs tend to hide out of sight when lights are on, you may not notice them at first. However, if you start to see lots of active cobwebs, you can be sure it's because the spiders have found a bug feast in your crawlspace.
If condensation is collecting on the wooden beams in your crawlspace over a long period of time, eventually the wood will begin to rot and the floors above your home will start to sag. You may also notice windows and doors on the upper floors that become sticky and hard to open or close.
Slabs carry the weight of your home as one large, solid piece of cement. When the ground beneath your slab begins to move or experiences uneven pressure from the water in the earth, cracks can begin to form in your home's foundation.
Do the floors in your home feel like they are slanted to one side or uneven? A good way to test if your floors are still even is to drop a round object (such as a marble or small ball) in the middle of the room and watch to see if it rolls to one wall. If it does, it's not just your imagination, your floors are uneven. This can be caused by movements in the ground beneath your slab foundation.
Sticking Windows & Door
Windows that are hard to open or shut and doors that won't close evenly can be signs of movement in the ground beneath your foundation slab. Whether it's water building up beneath the slab during excessive rains, or soil erosion, your slab foundation relies on even pressure beneath it in order to maintain its solid structure.
Moisture Entering Through Floor
If there is water coming up through the floor of your foundation slab, chances are that the water pressure beneath your home has increased so much that it has caused a crack in your slab as it is trying to release the pressure. This is known as hydrostatic pressure and is quite common when proper drainage is lacking in the area surrounding your foundation.
My Foundation Repairs is here to help educate the homeowner
My Foundation Repairs contractors use only the best products backed by strong warranties for foundation repair, manufactured by Earth Contact Products (ECP). ECP is the industry leader in manufacturing foundation repair and basement waterproofing products.
We have provided, since our inception, positive and sustainable technological advances and growth within the foundation repair, utility, pipeline, waterproofing, and general contracting businesses. We make ecologically sound products for commercial, residential, and industrial foundation repair, as well as basement waterproofing repair.
My Foundation Repairs is here to help. For a free estimate, contact us today.
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Find a Foundation Repair or Basement Waterproofing Contractor
My Foundation Repairs’ network of foundation and waterproofing specialists stretches nationwide. We can get you in touch with the industry leaders in your area for any type of structural or water-related repairs. We have a network of certified foundation repair contractors throughout the country and can help connect you with the right contractor for your specific needs.
Tyler & Stephanie's Success Story
Tyler and Stephanie had planned and saved for years to build the house of their dreams. About three years after moving in, they wondered if their dream was turning into a nightmare.
"We started to notice a small crack that was working its way up the living room wall," Stephanie explained. "We had always heard that there might be some settling of the house after a new build. However, later when the windows in the living room were becoming more and more difficult to open and the crack just seemed to keep expanding, we were concerned that the problem was getting worse."
Tyler decided to do some research to determine if this was all part of the natural settling of the house and found the My Foundation Repairs website where he discovered that both of these symptoms could point to a problem, not in the living room, but actually in the yard.
I HAD an extremely LARGE concrete sinking problem with my driveway... (up to three FT deep voids below the concrete) in numerous places due to water damage. I was faced with full replacement or mud-jacking (which I knew would only... Read More
Website has lots of good advice, and they have contractors all over the country. Great place to call if you need help just about anywhere in the USA.
Great and knowledgeable people to work with.
We were able to find a local contractor with a lot of knowledge and get a free estimate on our foundation repairs. We placed a call to My Foundation Repairs and they got us in touch with someone local. We... Read More