Fall is the perfect time of year for to check your foundation for movement that occurred during the wetter spring and summer months. Here are 4 signs to look for when inspecting your foundation this fall.
Tapered cracks are a sign of foundation movement. Whatever direction the widest part of the crack points toward is the moving portion of the wall. Thoroughly inspect your walls on the main level and any additional levels for signs of cracking. If you notice that the cracks are growing visibly, or disappearing and reappearing, then call a foundation specialist like Healthy Spaces right away.
If your home has a block or brick foundation, it's important to check the exterior and interior of the foundation for stair step cracking. Stair step cracking indicates settling or heaving movement. Wherever the highest point of the cracking is will tell you where the movement originates from and the lowest part of the stair step will tell you where the movement ends. The horizontal measurement from these two points will give you the width of the area affected.
If you have a brick home, stair step cracking works similarly. You can tell if your foundation is settling and how much of your home is moving by measuring laterally from the start of the cracking to the end.
Be especially concerned and ready to fix the foundation if the cracks open and close seasonally. Call a foundation repair expert like Healthy Spaces immediately.
Bowing or bulging foundation walls occur because outside soil is swelling and putting pressure on the foundation. The pressure is so great that your foundation is bowing inward like a crushed soda can. This type of foundation movement can be repaired and the wall can be straightened, either immediately or over time, but it is best to take care of the problem sooner in order to minimize the damage to the wall.
Virtually all foundation movement is the result of water--either the presence of it or the absence. Be sure to check your foundation for damp patches, efflorescence--a crusting of minerals left over when water evaporates, and concrete staining. If you notice that water is coming into your basement, be sure to contact a qualified responsible waterproofing expert like Healthy Spaces to help remedy the situation.