One thing that Kansas City homeowners need to be aware of is some of the most common foundation issues. Some of these issues relate to home age, while others are weather-related and may affect homes of any age.
One of the most important things to remember, regardless of your home’s age, is that foundation issues can affect the whole structure because the foundation helps to hold everything together. Read on to learn more about some of the foundation problems that occur the most often.
Damp and Leaky Areas Signal Trouble
If your walls, ceilings, or floors have damp areas, this is a likely seen of foundation damage. If any of these areas appear in the basement, this is stronger evidence that you likely have foundation problems. Although cracks or other visible damage are sometimes present, they are not always there.
Areas that are also likely to have damp spots but sometimes overlooked include crawl spaces. Wet areas, gaps, and cracks are easy to miss in such areas. Other locations to check that might not be noticed easily include closets and storage areas under stairs.
Uneven or Sagging Stairs Are Common Foundation Issues
The staircases in your home can be used to help you pinpoint common foundation issues. Wooden staircases, particularly in older homes, will wear down and shift eventually.
However, certain signs of your staircases can show evidence of foundation trouble. If your stairs slope, sag or are slanted, this is a clear sign of foundation problems. Another sign of problems with your foundation is when there are gaps from the stairs pulling away from the wall.
Door and Window Frame Gaps Often Spell Trouble
When a foundation sinks or slips on one side, this opens the door to structural issues. Door and window frames may start to pull away because of this movement. Checking the doors and windows for gaps is important, with care taken to check underneath and along the sides for signs of large gaps.
Some problems to watch for include:
- Sticking or refusing to slide properly
- Hanging at a tilted angle
- Swinging open wide or refusing to close right
- Improperly fitting in the frame
All of these issues may demonstrate issues that require prompt attention.
Common Foundation Issues: What Sagging Floors May Mean
Some of the most serious signs of damage that you may see on floors include:
- Visible pockets
Checking the support beams for evidence of warping or stress is a good idea. You can rule out problems with the foundation if neither of these issues is present. For example, some floor sagging is due to heavy furniture or appliances, with no foundation damage present at all.
What Might Cracks Reveal About Your Foundation?
Cracks often provide some of the strongest evidence of foundation issues requiring attention. Older homes, in particular, may have small cracks that are of no great concern. If the cracks are larger and deeper, though, the problem may be more extensive.
Some of the reasons for smaller cracks include settling with moisture in the soil and expansion or shrinkage because of the weather. If the underlying problem is not severe, you may need to have these cracks filled after ruling out more serious problems.
Your best solution is to check your interior and exterior areas for cracks, regardless of how much the area is used. Some of the most important areas often overlooked include:
- Chimney or fireplace bricks
- Basement ceilings and floors
- Interior walls
- Stairs outside your front door
When you suspect problems, contacting a foundation specialist is a good idea, even if the problems seem minor. With the experience that a foundation expert has, they can give you an honest assessment of whether you have serious problems.
Olson Foundation Repair can advise you on your options for the foundation. Contact us today with all your concerns about common foundation issues.