Is Your House Talking To You?
We're all trying to dry out from all the rain we've had this summer. We get many calls from homeowners who are worried about their houses. One of the most common worries is whether or not the house is settling. A house is said to be settling when all or part of the house is sinking into the ground due to a problem with the foundation or the soil that the foundation is sitting on. Here are a few key things to look for:
1. Cracks in walls on the inside of the house - Corners of windows and doors will crack from the corner up to the ceiling, doors may pull away and not shut properly.
2. Cracks in your fireplace bricks - When bricks start cracking, you know you have a problem, since they are more stable than drywall.
3. Previously fixed Nail heads protruding out backwards - This means the gypsum board is being compromised, or bending based on the house leaning, or sinking one way another.
4. Windows and doors aren't fitting squarely - Try raising and closing all doors and windows. Are they uneven? This is a big sign.
5. Windows on the outside of the house have cracks that run diagonally - This is a slightly different crack that you will see from windows within the house because the caulk joints could be pulling apart too.
6. Flooring issues - Are your tiles or hard wood flooring popping up for no reason?
7. Cracks in the exposed concrete at the base of the house - If they are small it could be a non-structural problem, or it could be the first sign of trouble. Check with a professional to be sure.
8. Standing water around the house after a rainfall - This could also have something to do with having improper drainage, which can lead to large voids under your home.
9. Leaky roof or shingles buckling - This could have to do with foundation or poor roofing. If the roof is in good shape and is relatively new, then it could be foundation problem.
10. Trees too close to the house - This can cause roots to side-wind under and around the house, break through concrete, causing plumbing & foundation problems.
11. Roof runoff from gutters not draining away from the house - If once water drains into the yard, if it stays and doesn't diffuse to a lower place such as a ditch, there could be a problem.
12. Voids - Is the corner of your home or garage suspended in the air? Water may be running underneath and washing dirt out, the foundation has nothing to sit on, resulting in foundation shift.
If you're seeing any of these signs, it's important that you call in a professional as soon as possible. Often simple repairs can be implemented if the problem is found early, but the longer the problem continues the more costly and difficult the solution will be, so listen to your house!