Early signs of foundation problems – basementsolutions

Foundation problems may mean expensive repairs. Painting poured concrete basement walls Here’s what to look for to keep small concerns from becoming big headaches.

Foundations can fail.

Precast concrete walls vs poured concrete walls But knowing the early warning signs of foundation problems can head off problems that ultimately could cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix. Concrete block interior walls The sooner you identify potential problems, the easier — and less expensive — it is to fix them.

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

• Cracks appear in walls, especially over doorways, windows, or where walls meet ceilings.

• Cracks open in vinyl or ceramic tile over a concrete floor.

• Windows that used to open and close easily suddenly begin to stick or won’t close completely.

Moving outside, check to see if your foundation is straight by sighting down the length of your foundation wall from each corner. Painting precast concrete panels The walls should be basically straight, both up and down and from side to side. Interior concrete walls ideas Check for leaning walls with a level.

A bulge or curve in either a block foundation or a poured concrete wall could signal that the foundation has shifted, or that the soil around your foundation may be expanding and contracting, putting pressure on walls. Concrete poured walls cost Probe Concrete for Weakness

If your house has a poured perimeter foundation and the concrete appears to be chipping and flaking, poke it in a few places with a sturdy screwdriver. Finishing outside concrete foundation walls The concrete should be so hard that you can’t damage it.

If you manage to chip it or break a piece off, the concrete could be deteriorating because the mix contained dirty or salty sand, or too much water. Precast concrete retaining walls residential This problem, common in homes built in the early 1900s in some parts of the country, has no remedy short of a new foundation. Finishing interior concrete walls Checking Structural Components

Foundation systems have other members besides the perimeter foundation wall. Concrete basement walls sweating In your basement or crawl space, look for posts and concrete supports, or piers. Superior concrete walls Posts should stand straight and be firmly planted underneath the beams they support. Concrete look interior wall panels Bottoms of posts should rest firmly on concrete piers.

You shouldn’t find puddles or see framing that’s wet. Poured concrete walls vs block cost Check for rot by probing wood posts with a screwdriver or awl.

Puddles and other signs of moisture in a crawl space may indicate poor drainage around the perimeter. Interior design concrete walls Be sure that gutters aren’t plugged, and that soil slopes away from the foundation at the rate of 6 inches for every 10 horizontal feet. Precast concrete blocks for retaining walls Reading Cracks

As concrete cures, it shrinks slightly. Chalkboard paint on concrete walls Where the concrete can’t shrink evenly, it tends to crack. Decorative concrete walls photos Concrete and block foundations usually have at least a few cracks.

The trick is recognizing which are insignificant and which are serious. Poured concrete walls vs concrete block Here’s a list from least to most serious of common foundation problems:

Hairline cracks in the mortar between concrete blocks are rarely worth worrying about.

Cracks at an L-shape section, such as where a foundation steps down to follow a hillside, are probably shrinkage cracks, especially if they meander and taper down to a hairline. Concrete wall forms plywood These aren’t a structural issue, though you might need to plug them to keep the basement or crawl space dry.

Stair-step cracks in masonry joints are a bigger concern, especially if the wall is bulging or the crack is wider than ? inch. Grinding paint off concrete walls A plugged gutter or other moisture problem outside is probably exerting pressure on that part of the wall.

Horizontal cracks are most serious. Board formed concrete wall detail It may be that water-saturated soil froze and expanded, pushing in and breaking the foundation. Painting concrete block walls garage Or, you may have soil that expands when damp and shrinks when dry. Interior concrete walls The bad news: You probably need a whole new foundation. How to pour concrete walls Getting a Professional Opinion

Foundation issues cannot be taken lightly. Concrete block retaining wall specifications If you are seeing any of the sings described in this article, please CONTACT US TODAY! We will assess your property and provide you with a free estimate.


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