Homeowners are the first to notice the signs of a cracked foundation. So we wanted to provide homeowners with a little guide on how to check for foundation problems. We have separated the issues into two categories, inside and outside. You should check both areas of your home.
Inside or the Interior of the House
The most noticeable indications of house foundation problems are cracks in the walls – which are usually constructed with sheetrock / drywall. Since the area of least flexibility is around door and window frames you should look for any cracks starting at the corners of doors and windows. Also check the areas where one wall meets another wall and where the walls meet the floor. If you find any cracks then that will indicate movement of the foundation. If the cracks are 1/4 of an inch in width or greater then you have a significant foundation issue.
The doors and windows should open and close normally. If they begin to stick, or won’t open, then you probably have under slab soil and foundation movement. Doors that can not latch or lock properly are another indication of movement.
Outside or the Exterior of the House
Many of the homes built in the Dallas, Texas area in the past forty years have exterior walls at least 50% brick. Since brick and mortar have far less flexibility than wood or other siding materials they will generally display foundation problems first. Look for cracks in the bricks and mortar. If there is soil and foundation movement then you will often see a stair-step pattern for the crack.
Also carefully examine for any cracks at the base of the foundation and any crack of 1/8 in width or greater is significant. You should also check for any bulges in the exterior walls. You can easily do this by standing at a corner and then carefully looking down the entire length of the wall. You may want to try this with one eye close. If there is a bulge, you will see it. It is also a sign you may need foundation repairs.
The roof or roof line is another easy check that can be made by the homeowner. Simply stand outside your home, somewhere near the middle of the street, and look at the peak of your roof. The peak is the highest point where two or more portions of the roof meet. It should appear straight. If you see a sag in the middle of your roof line then you have serious house foundation problems.
What to do about Signs of Foundation Repair
If you have seen any of the situations above then you know you have foundation problems. You also know you need foundation repair. It is not a surprise because the clay soils in the Dallas area are largely clay soils, which expand and contract with changes in moisture content. This leads to soil movement that can damage the concrete slab foundation under your home. Soil movement can also damage and break under slab plumbing lines, which is another concern for homeowners in your area.
Finally, don’t panic if you see any of these warning signs of foundation damage. We can provide support columns for your foundation that will resist the forces of upward and downward soil movement. These support columns are Bell Bottom Piers and they have proven themselves for over 100 years. Call Dallas Foundation Repair with any questions or for a FREE foundation inspection and estimate.