Expansive clay, loose or improperly compacted soils, and improper grade and maintenance of the soils around your home are just a few potential causes of structural failure. Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and other areas up and down the Front Range contain high levels of bentonite, which often contribute to movement in the structure and foundation failure. Older homes and homes that don’t have additional structural support (piers, footings, etc.) are often adversely impacted by high levels of expansion and contraction in the soils over time. Without a solid foundation, your home might be a ticking time bomb for larger, more expensive repairs if left unaddressed, or worst-case, you can be left with an uninhabitable (and worthless) structure! Contact us today for a free evaluation of your foundation repair project!
SIGNS OF SETTLEMENT IN YOUR HOME
Stair stepping in bricks: As a home shifts and the foundation moves, often you will see the exterior brickwork or siding start to break, and cracks will develop in the mortar between the bricks. Often the cracks will “stair step” up the exterior of the house.
Cracks in the foundation – Hairline cracks in a foundation are fairly common as even the best constructed homes move slightly over time. But larger horizontal or vertical cracks that are greater than 1/8 inch or have lateral separation between them are usually signs of significant movement in the foundation that should be repaired.
Sagging rooflines – Movement in the areas supporting the roof (interior/exterior walls, pillars, trusses, etc.) will transfer to the overlying roof and you will often see sagging or crooked roofs develop.
Bowing & leaning walls – A leaning and moving foundation means that the walls sitting on top of that foundation will move as well. Often you will see the exterior walls fall “away” from the house. If the foundation breaks and moves laterally, walls will often bow in or out depending on the movement in the underlying foundation.
Leaning chimneys – Many times chimneys are either tied to the foundation or they are sitting on their own footing. As the foundation or footing under the chimney shifts, without proper support the overlying tall & narrow structure of the chimney will start to fall away from the house leaving a potentially hazardous situation at your home.
Crooked garage frames – Garages usually sit on foundation walls or footings and as settlement occurs in those areas, the overlying structure of the garage will twist and bend leaving the frame of your garage crooked. Often you will notice this when your garage door doesn’t seal properly along it’s perimeter or won’t open or close properly without binding up in the tracks.
Sagging & uneven floors – As the foundation that the floors sit on begins to move, the floors themselves start to sag and bend. Do you feel uneasy when you walk across your floors? Are there ridges under the carpet or areas where your tile or wood flooring have cracked or separated? Do the floors squeak and crackle excessively when you walk across them? These are all tell-tale signs of foundation movement in the home. Many times you will see the movement in the floors will “transfer” from the ground level to the upper floors.
Cracked & bowed walls – Similar to the exterior walls, interior walls will flex, bend and break as the structure begins moving. Often you will see large drywall cracks develop in the corners of rooms and around door and window frames. Drywall seams become visible as the large panels shift and move.
Doors & windows that won’t open/close – Probably one of the most common signs of settlement is doors and windows, both interior and exterior, that won’t open, close or latch properly. Looking at the frames for the doors and windows, you will see they are out of alignment with uneven gaps along the top, bottom and/or sides when shut. Rubbing on the floors and around the frames is common and the homeowner often re-trims these areas instead of addressing the underlying problem (which will likely come back!).
Drywall cracking – Small hairline drywall cracks inside a home are to be expected, but if the cracks you are seeing are worsening, spreading and are generally more than 1/8 inch, the foundation is likely on the move. As the home twists and turns, the large rigid surfaces like drywall will ultimately bend and break. Many times homeowners patch these cracks but they almost always return!
“Popping” sounds – Does it sound like movie theater at night with popcorn popping in your kitchen? Are you convinced that you live in a haunted house with all of the creaking you hear while you are lying in bed? Well, you probably don’t need to call Ghostbusters, but your home is indeed groaning from the uncomfortable movement it is experiencing. Constant cracking and popping sounds that appear to worsen may indicate you have some more sinister problems going on other than ghosts!
WHY REPAIR YOUR FOUNDATION?
Regardless of the cause, foundation movement left unattended could not only cause serious damage to the structure of the home, but it may even render it unsafe, useless and worthless. Homes in need of structural repairs are often impossible to sell except at “fire-sale” prices. Banks often won’t lend on homes with serious structural issues either. And cracks in the foundation and leaky windows and doors can lead to bigger problems with water infiltration and exorbitant energy bills! Do not wait until it’s too late to address these problems. Contact us now for a free evaluation.
WHAT TYPE OF REPAIR DOES MY HOME NEED?
Once our highly trained personnel have evaluated your home and put together a bid for your repairs, we will offer you a comprehensive plan involving some or all of our available Foundation Repair Services. For more information on these services, please visit the links below! Ready to schedule your free evaluation?