Some home repairs, such as a leaky faucet or worn out carpet, are problems with clear solutions. Others, such as foundation cracks, may seem more intimidating.
However, if you spot the warning signs, you can fix cracks before your foundation sustains serious damage. Here are four warning signs your foundation needs attention.
Newly sticking doors and windows
A frame that had previously been fine and has started sticking could be an early sign that your foundation is shifting. As your foundation shifts, your door and window frames may move along with it, making them slightly different shapes. You then must push and pull harder on doors and windows and, if you don’t fix the issue, the problem will only get worse.
Stair step and horizontal cracks
Cracks can appear in walls and foundations no matter how old your house is, but not every crack is an emergency. Hairline cracks in concrete may occur when concrete cures, and vertical lines are often signs that sheetrock has settled over time.
On the other hand, stair step, diagonal, and horizontal cracks could be signs of foundation shift, soil heave or settlement, or serious water damage. It’s not too late to tackle the issue, though.
“If your walls are cracking due to foundation settlement issues, foundation piers may be your solution,” Arizona Foundation Solutions says. “If your foundation walls are failing due to expansive soils, a wall anchor system may solve your problem. For long running cracks along the walls, we also use crack stitching to repair the concrete and prevent further crack expansion.”
Major wall cracks will cause nails to pull away from studs. It is abnormal for nail heads to be visible in your sheetrock, and their appearance could signal substantial shear movement in your drywall. You may see nail popping near the most serious cracks in your house.
Gaps around garage doors
Just as windows and doors stick when their frames shift, a garage door can indicate the health of your foundation.
It is common for a slight gap to form at one or both corners of the door over time, as the slab settles or as expansive soil pushes it up. However, if those gaps are more than about an inch wide, they could be a sign of a foundation problem.
Hire professionals who care
When it comes to foundation problems, Arizona Foundation Solutions prides itself on its expertise and service to the community.
For example, engineers recently visited the home of southern Phoenix teacher Teresa Tejeda and noticed that the house, built in 1958, lacked sufficient support for the main floor.
“When we got called in and looked at it, the house was in pretty rough shape,” Arizona Foundation Solutions engineer John Ciminski says. “You could see the floor was sagging. The stem wall was in pretty bad shape.”
The engineers knew they could help, and company owner Bob Brown wanted to show gratitude to Tejeda for her service as a teacher and to support her fight against cancer.
“Our owner decided to do something about it,” Ciminski said. “We decided to see what we could do to make the house safe.”
The work took a crew of three about a week, and Brown did not charge for the job.
If you notice any warning signs that your foundation needs attention, Arizona Foundation Solutions will make sure you get the repairs you need. Visit FoundationRepairsAZ.com for more information and to schedule your free foundation inspection.