Home Improvement

How to Catch Foundation Problems Early: Eight Things to Look Out For

There are many foundation problems that you might experience in a home. However, one of the defining features of these foundation problems is that you could end up with serious problems that can cause tens of thousands of dollars to fix. The good news, on the other hand, is the fact that it’s typically pretty easy to catch foundation problems. Here are eight signs to look out for when you want to handle foundation problems early.

catch foundation problem
How to Catch Foundation Problems Early: Eight Things to Look Out For

8 Simple Signs Your Home Has a Foundation Problem Created By: Innovative Basement Authority

1. Cracks in Walls and Floors 

Cracking is one of the most obvious signs that you’re dealing with some problems. Most commonly, foundation failure cracks will be either diagonal cracks in the corners of the walls or stair-step cracks that go along the bricklaying in a stone wall. These cracks usually indicate that there’s a weight balancing problem throughout your home.


2. Misaligned and Sticking Doors and Windows 

When you’re experiencing more settling on one side of a door or window than the other, it might end up warping the frame. Even a small amount of frame warping can create serious sticking problems as your doors and windows try to adjust to a frame that no longer fit them. Typically, that means there are either weight balancing or waterproofing issues.

3. Gaps Between Walls, Windows, and Doors 

There shouldn’t be any gaps between your home’s walls, windows, and doors. Specifically, your doors should align properly, your walls should sit flush against each other and the floor, and your windows shouldn’t pull away from the wall. If anything else is happening, you might want to make sure that you take a look and catch foundation problems.

4. Sagging and Slanting Floors 

What if your floor is sagging near the center? This typically indicates that your floor joists don’t have enough support. However, that lack of support can stem from just about anything, ranging from issues with the initial building to wood rot and everything in between. Either way, it’s important to add support back into the process.

5. A Leaning Chimney 

Chimneys typically have foundations that are separate from the rest of the home. Usually, the foundation sits close enough to the foundation for the rest of the home for the chimney to appear as though it’s completely connected to the home. If you start to notice that the chimney is pulling away, that means there’s a foundation problem.

6. Bowing Basement Walls 

When you go into your basement, it’s always a good idea to look at the basement walls. Do you notice that there’s a bulge in your basement walls, especially toward the middle? That typically occurs because of an excess of hydrostatic pressure. If you’re noticing this, you need to alleviate the pressure before the basement walls cave in.

7. Musty Smell in the Basement or Crawl Space 

Many people bring up a “musty smell” as something they don’t like about their basement or crawl space. However, did you know that this actually isn’t normal? If you’re experiencing a musty smell in your basement or crawl space, it’s actually because you’re having mold or mildew growth in the basement that you haven’t noticed.

8. Damp Walls or Obvious Leaks 

Water is your home’s worst enemy. That’s one of the reasons you need to make sure that your home stays as dry as possible at all times. If you’re noticing damp walls or any sort of leaking problems throughout your crawl space or basement, it’s crucial that you get a foundation repair expert in to help you with this problem.


All eight of these warning signs are things that a day-to-day homeowner can uncover very easily. Even if you have no experience with pointing out foundation problems, you can definitely discover the foundation problems that you’re experiencing as long as you’re willing to keep your eyes open. When you notice any of these warning signs, it’s as simple as calling in a foundation repair expert.


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