No matter how old (or new) your home may be, foundation problems can occur at any time. The good news is that many foundation problems can be repaired with help from the right professionals. Still, many homeowners have trouble distinguishing signs of normal house settling from potentially serious foundation issues. Ultimately, only a foundation specialist will be able to tell you whether your home needs repairs, but there are some things to keep in mind that may help put your mind at ease.
Signs of Settling
One of the most important (and reassuring) things to keep in mind is that most drywall cracks are nothing to worry about. Whether your home is a year old or 100 years old, you're going to find some cracks in your drywall and/or plaster. Typically, these cracks are a simple side effect of your home settling over time. This happens naturally when the soil around your home shifts slightly and is nothing to be concerned about.
When your house is settling, you may notice thin horizontal or vertical cracks around the walls of your home. You may also notice occasional "nail pops," which occur when your drywall seams are forced out of place by settling. As long as you can repair the drywall and the problem doesn't return, this is most likely just settling.
Foundation "Red Flags"
Some cracks (and other signs) are not so innocent, however. If you notice cracks that are wider than a quarter of an inch, or cracks that form in a "stair-step" pattern, these could be signs of a foundation problem. The same goes for cracks that form diagonally or around window/door frames, especially if you're noticing that your windows and doors are becoming more difficult to open and close.
Likewise, if you've noticed any visible cracks in your foundation (either in your basement or along the perimeter of your home's concrete slab), this is also something you won't want to overlook.
Time to Call a Foundation Specialist?
If you suspect that your home may have foundation problems, it's important to call a foundation specialist for an evaluation. It doesn't hurt to call a few different companies so you can get a second and third opinion for added peace of mind. From there, if you need foundation repair, you can get it taken care of by a reputable and experienced professional. And of course, if nothing turns out to be wrong, you can breathe a sigh of relief!
For more information, reach out to a foundation repair professional.Share