Foundations can end up with many different problems overall. Many of these problems require an expert’s help to fix, but that also means you need to know when something is wrong enough that you might need to call in an expert. If you have a family, this problem is even more pressing; after all, foundation concerns are even more serious when the health of your family is on the line. Here’s what you need to look for as signs of potential Pittsburgh foundation repair.
If you have a basement, you need to make sure that the basement walls stand as straight as possible. If the walls are bowing in toward the middle, it’s probably because of hydrostatic pressure pushing in on the walls. You may need additional stabilization to make sure that you’re able to tackle your bowing basement walls before they cave in.
Cracked Concrete Slabs
If you have a slab foundation, you need to make sure that your foundation isn’t having issues with the soil underneath it contracting and expanding, which can seriously impact your slab foundation and even cause it to crack. This is especially true in areas that tend to get very cold; when the water in the soil freezes, it will expand the soil, potentially causing concerns with the concrete. Even if there are very thin cracks in the slab foundation, talk to an expert, as it could indicate a concern with the soil underneath the foundation.
Sinking foundations typically occur when the original building crew didn’t compress the soil under the foundation enough. That means the foundation will start to sink into the dirt underneath it, often unevenly. This may result in one side of the foundation sinking more than the other side, which can be extremely detrimental to the foundation and the home overall. Any amount of sinking that results in visible changes is probably something you should call an expert about.
Whereas a sinking foundation has to do with the entire structure of the home, sagging floors have to do with just the floors. Most commonly, this happens when there’s something wrong with the floor joists. If the joist starts to bow because there’s not enough support, there’s too much humidity, or the crawl space supports have fallen over, the floors can start to sag as well.
Tilting and Cracking Chimney
Most of the time, a chimney doesn’t have a specific attachment to the rest of the home. The foundation of the chimney is often separate from the foundation of the house, and it typically doesn’t connect to the rest of the home directly. That means when you’re having foundation problems in the general home, the chimney often isn’t having foundation problems, which can actually cause the chimney to separate from the rest of the home.
If you find that your floor is sinking to one side, chances are it’s because of a sinking foundation. The difference between sagging floors and uneven floors is that sagging floors typically bow in one room, but the problems don’t persist past the single room. Uneven floors, however, can be a problem that stretches across the entirety of a home. It’s much more common for uneven floors to be a concern that’s true in every room of your home because the underlying problem is that the foundation as a whole is sinking to one side.
Sticking Doors and Windows
Have you ever felt like your doors and windows seem to be “sticking,” or having a hard time opening and closing? What’s really happening here is that the doorframes and window frames are warped. In the case of windows, this makes it difficult for you to open and close the windows because they no longer fit perfectly into the frame, making it very difficult for you to slide the windows up and down or side to side. In the case of doors, you can have a hard time opening and closing the windows because the warp can cause the door to tilt strongly toward the floor or the ceiling. Either way, it’s typically either because of foundation sinking or because of water damage to the doorframe or window frame.
You should never see cracks in your walls, especially not cracks that are serious enough that they’re easy to see even when you’re not thinking about it. Depending on the type of wall that has this crack and the area of the crack, it could be a symptom of a severe foundation problem or it could just be a random issue that you’ve accidentally run into one time. Either way, when you see wall cracks, you should probably get in touch with an expert who can assess the problem and let you know.
There are many foundation problem signs that can help you catch foundation problems long before they become a serious concern in your home. It’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these problem signs, because when you catch problems early on, you’re less likely to have concerns with your foundation that stretch much further. Essentially, when you’re the one paying attention for foundation problem signs, you can get someone in early on in the process, which will dramatically increase your likelihood of fixing the problem and keeping your family safe. Think about these problems to make sure your foundation stays safe and secure.