The foundation of your home provides its structure and support. But, over time, the foundation can get damaged. Unfortunately, the damage isn’t always visible from the outside, which is why it’s important to periodically take a closer look at the foundation and fix any problems before they get worse.
Causes of Foundation Damage
What causes damage to the home foundation? Damage can be caused by multiple things, but here are some of the most frequent causes:
Moisture. Humidity and moisture can seep into wood, causing it to swell. This can affect walls, doors, windows, and cabinets.
Bad drainage. Old or faulty drainage pipes can cause pooling water and swampy areas under the home.
Water leaks. Unknown water leaks can cause damage to the slab under the house, destroying the foundation.
Tree roots. Large trees with expanding roots have been known to damage home foundations. As roots grow, they may exert pressure on the foundation or pipes under a home, causing water leaks.
Signs of Foundation Damage
Since foundation damage happens mostly under the home, it can be hard to identify in the early stages. But, there are some signs you can look for.
Musty odors in the basement. If you start to notice a wet, musty odor in your basement, take notice. That musty smell, like clothes not dried well or wet dog, is a sign of moisture stuck somewhere.
Cracks between the walls and ceilings. Foundation problems often cause cracks where the walls meet the ceiling. Look for cracks, bowing, or splintering.
Sagging or uneven floors. Wetness under the floor causes that musty smell, but it can also cause sagging in your flooring. Alternatively, shifting soil can also cause sagging floors too. If you notice uneven flooring, there is a good chance there is some foundation damage.
An increase in bugs. All kinds of bugs love wetness. If you notice an increase in bugs in the home, there is a chance you could have a leak, which will affect your foundation.
Crooked doors. Like warped floors and cracked walls, foundation damage can cause strain on your doors. Crooked doors, or doors that don’t close right, can indicate excess moisture in the house.
A damaged chimney. Irregularities in your foundation can also cause problems higher up. Damage to your floor and foundation can cause your chimney to crack or even start tilting.
Foundation problems often go unnoticed until the problem gets really bad. But, if you know what signs to look for, you may be able to avoid a major expense.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Altisource Online Auction, Inc., Altisource® or any Altisource affiliate. The foregoing content is not intended to constitute, and in fact does not constitute, financial, investment, tax or legal advice by the author, Altisource Online Auction, Inc., Altisource or any Altisource affiliate.