Repair Your Foundation This Summer — 7 Signs of Foundation Damage

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Repair Your Foundation This Summer — 7 Signs of Foundation Damage

Your foundation is in many ways the most important part of your home. Everything else quite literally rests on it. When your home’s foundation deteriorates, you’re at risk of both expensive repairs and ongoing damage to the walls and floors above.

Thankfully, you can get the repairs you need before extensive harm takes place. And D-Bug Waterproofing is the right company to do it in Western PA. When you call on the waterproofing experts at D-Bug, we can examine your foundation, check out basement leaks, and deliver the services you need to keep your home dry and secure against foundation damage.

For homes in the Pittsburgh regions, there are a variety of common foundation problems that you should keep an eye out for.

1. Cracks in Your Walls

You need to keep a close eye on your interior and exterior walls as cracks in either are a common sign of foundation problems. These cracks can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor soil conditions, water damage, and settling soil.

Even temperature changes can cause this to happen, which is common in Western Pennsylvania as water in the ground freezes in the winter and thaws in the spring. And if some of that water happens to be inside your walls at the time, it can widen existing cracks or make new ones.

Small hairline cracks aren’t the problem — what you need to look for are cracks in a zigzag pattern or large cracks wider than 1/8th of an inch. Also, if you see a crack that’s growing noticeably, it’s time to call in the experts.

2. Floor Issues

Another part of your house to pay attention to is your floors. If you have floorboards that are sagging, or if they bounce or squeak, it can be a sign of an issue with your foundation.

If you have finished floors, this can mean that your foundation has settled or that you have rot in your structural beams. If you have floors made of concrete slab, then you may see cracks like those that can develop in your walls.

3. Bowing or Leaning Walls

Bowing or leaning walls can be a serious structural issue and may indicate that your foundation is on its way to an eventual collapse. The rate of deterioration depends on numerous factors, including:

  • The extent of the bowing or leaning
  • The construction materials and quality of the foundation
  • Soil conditions and ground water levels around the foundation
  • Climate and weather conditions (frequent freeze-thaw cycles, for example, could accelerate the problem)
  • Structural load on the foundation

Given these factors, it could take anywhere from a few months to several years or even longer for a seriously compromised foundation to collapse.

The bowing or leaning walls themselves can be caused by a variety of issues, including sinking ground around your home, faulty exterior ground grading, rotting block foundations, and even simple freezing and thawing.

One of the main ways to fix this problem is with wall anchors, which support your foundation and keep your walls from collapsing further. I-beam support is another possible solution depending on how bad the damage is.

4. A Wet Basement

Moisture in your basement causes a variety of issues, including mold, mildew, and other health hazards. Western Pennsylvania is well-known for its heavy rainfall, which means plenty of opportunity for water to get in and start causing problems.

This can be caused by poor drainage around your home, faulty sump pumps, clogged French drains, and a variety of other problems. Fortunately, many of these issues are easily fixed. You might need to get a new sump pump, clean your French drain (along with your gutters), get longer downspouts, or build a retaining wall or install a storm drain.

If you notice a mold or mildew smell in your basement even after fixing these issues, you might need to get mold remediation services — it’s possible the water is getting in through cracks in your foundation.

Experts will identify how moisture is getting into your home so that you can put a stop to it, and they’ll remove the existing mold, but you’ll likely need someone to fix your foundation if you want to put a stop to the problem permanently.

5. Damaged Siding

When your foundation settles or shifts, it can affect your siding. If you notice that your siding is cracked or warped, it can be a sign that you need to look at your foundation as well.

However, siding issues can have other causes that don’t necessarily have anything to do with your foundation. For example, severe weather or pests can cause similar damage.

That’s why it’s important that you get to the root of the problem so that you can cross foundation damage off the list of potential issues.

If you see gaps between the siding planks, or if you notice growing space between the siding and your door frames or window frames, your foundation might be the culprit.

6. A Settling Foundation

When the soil under your home settles, your foundation will sink and become uneven. The soil in Western Pennsylvania is expansive and particularly prone to settling compared to other areas of the country.

As your foundation shifts and cracks, you’ll notice some of the other problems listed here.

7. Poor Drainage

When water isn’t draining away from your home like it should, it can seep into your foundation and cause damage.

There are many signs that you have drainage problems, including water gushing over the edge of your gutter (indicating that they need to be cleaned), mulch and wood chips consistently being washed away when it rains, and mold or mildew in your attic or basement.

How Much Does Foundation Repair Cost?

The cost of foundation repair can vary depending on the extent of the damage and the type of repair needed. Minor repairs can cost a few hundred dollars while major repairs can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

That’s why it’s so important to have your foundation inspected by a professional to determine the extent of the damage and the cost of repairs. Ignoring foundation problems can lead to even more costly repairs down the road.

Got Foundation Problems? We Can Help

If your foundation has serious issues and you need someone you can trust to get the job done right the first time, call D-Bug Waterproofing at 855-381-1528 or contact us today.