Eric Rodriguez

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Warning Signs

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How Do You Know It’s Time to Call Paramount Foundation Repair?


Knowing the early warning signs of foundation troubles can head off problems that ultimately could cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix. The sooner you identify potential problems, the easier — and less expensive — it is to fix them.



The 5 Basic Indoor Warning Signs

Houses settle over time, and a little unevenness isn’t cause for panic. At the same time, you’ll want to be alert to these warning signs that more dramatic changes are taking place:

 1. Doors

Sticky and/or uneven doors can be a sign that your home’s foundation requires repair. Doors can stick, swing open after being pushed shut, or have gaps around the top and bottom.

 2. Cracks in drywall

Drywall cracks are one of the most common signs that you have foundation problems. Cracks will usually appear around doorframes, in the ceiling, in corners and along the wall.

 3. Cracks in tile

If your foundation shifts, brittle, inelastic material such as tile flooring will chip and crack.

4. Windows

If the frame of your home shifts with a settling foundation, the windows may become difficult to open, stick, or develop separations around the framing.

 5. Sloping/Uneven floors

When your home is built, the support structure is designed to hold whatever is on top of it. Over time, unstable soil, poor support design or waterproofing issues can damage your home’s foundation and cause uneven floors.



Check Outside for more Clues

6. Cracks in brick

Brick cracks are more than a cosmetic problem; they could be an indication that your foundation needs repair — before your cracked bricks grow into a larger problem.

7. Cracks in foundation

Your concrete slab is made to bend and flex to a certain extent. If your foundation moves and flexes too much, the slab will crack.

 8. Chimney issues

Your chimney is the heaviest portion of your home and concentrates a lot of weight in a small space. If your foundation or the soil that it sits on is unstable, your chimney may start to lean or bricks crack.

 9. Fascia board separation

Since your roof line is directly affected by the settling of your foundation, frieze boards may separate in the corners and fascia boards will pull away.



What Do All the Signs Mean?

There are two basic types of structural foundation damage:  walls destabilized due to lateral pressure from swollen soil or settling and a dropped or sunken foundation due to soil compaction or desiccation.

  1. The first is arguably the less serious of the two and can usually be repaired by stabilizing the wall. Damage not repaired for a long time may mean that a wall must be rebuilt.  Bowed or bulging block or masonry walls or cracked poured concrete walls are indicative of a destabilized wall, as is a concrete wall that is out of plumb. Upstairs windows and doors are misaligned above the affected section of foundation and water seepage often occurs.
  2. When a foundation drops, the problem is serious and requires major repair — underpinning is required to raise the foundation back to level and stabilize it there.  Basement floors will be out of level and walls out of plumb and there may be significant cracking of both floors and walls.  Seepage is likely to be present.  Outside, major cracking of stone or brickwork and large gaps around windows and doors and separation of chimneys and additions will be noticeable.

If either has occurred, the prospective home buyer need not be scared away from the purchase but should approach it armed with an accurate estimate for repairs that will be part of the price negotiation.  Even the worst structural foundation damage can be permanently repaired and make the house into a stable and secure home for generations to come.

Whether you are buyer or seller or ongoing homeowner, repairing a foundation is no do-it-yourself job; you’ll need expert help.  The foundation repair experts at Paramount Foundation Repair have the best and most current methods of repair at their disposal and base all their recommendations on engineering data and detailed inspection and not a “good eye for foundations.”  Why not ask for a free consultation?

Want to know more about the signs of structural foundation repair?


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