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Friday, May 31st, 2019 by Tina Souza
Are you noticing issues around your home that makes you wonder if your house could be shifting or settling? A home and it's foundation is built on soil which has a tendency to shift depending on the makeup of the soil and weather. Excessive rain or droughts can cause the soils to expand or contract causing your home's foundation to settle. Not all settling can cause foundation issues but, given a home's value and the need for it's structural stability, it is important to be aware of the signs to look for.
While you don’t want to worry when there is no reason to, sometimes it takes a professional to truly evaluate what is going on and let you know if there is reason for concern. If you are noticing any of the following signs, it may be worth a call to have your home evaluated before issues, if any, grow worse.
Signs of a Settling Home:
1. Sticking Doors and Window
Are you having difficulty opening or closing your doors or windows? As a home settles, doors and windows may begin to angle so they don’t sit squarely inside their frames causing issues with opening and closing them.
2. Slanting Floors
Do your floors seem slanted? If you put a level on your floor, does it show it is not level? Shifting soils may be causing different areas of you home to move. This may worsen over a period of time as your home continues to settle.
Slanting or sagging floors can also be caused by weakening or rotting floor joists or support beams, which can be confirmed with an inspection of your crawl space.
3. Interior Cracks
You may begin to notice interior cracks along walls or coming from corners of windows. You may be think painting is all you need to cover this but it may actually be a sign that some settlement is occurring.
4. Openings Around Doors or Windows
On a more serious level, you may notice pulling away from your window or door frames causing visible gaps. At this point, patching will not fix the the root cause of the issues.
5. Exterior Cracks
Small or fine cracks along the exterior walls of your home are quite common and may be nothing to worry about. However, when they continue to increase in number, become large or have a zig-zag pattern that be cause for concern. This zig-zag pattern is especially evident in brick homes.
6. Cracks in Foundation
Again, a few fine cracks in your foundation may not indicate an issue but can grow over time. Several cracks or large cracking may indicate shifting. Vertical cracks are a typical result of soil settlement which creates pressure on the foundation wall. These vertical cracks can allow water in and will need to be repaired.
Horizontal cracking is a sign of serious issues resulting from soil pressures due to water-saturated water pushing against the foundation wall. These require immediate attention.
Companies like NorCal Foundation Support specialize in evaluating foundations and can explain to you when there is a need for concern or repair. The repair can be simple, or if left untreated for a long period of time may lead to more complicated repairs. We advise you go be aware of these signs, educate yourself and seek professional help to determine the proper repair, if needed.
NorCal Foundation Support specializes in foundation, concrete and crawl space repair, including underpinning and moisture control for residential and commercial structures. A dealer of products by Foundation Supportworks and Basement Systems we service areas of northern California including Danville, Napa, Ukiah, Sacramento and Tracy.