Warning Signs of Foundation Damage

If you are reading this then you have probably seen some warning signs of foundation damage. We will discuss the most common warning signs and show you a few pictures below. However, as we stated on the home page, in most cases your home’s structural integrity is probably NOT threatened. You are observing cosmetic damage and perhaps annoyances such as stuck windows and doors. The question is, “Do you want to see this cosmetic damage get worse over time or take action to stabilize and level your concrete foundation?”

Soil movement has cracked the foundation and the exterior brick wall from the ground to the roof.

Warning Signs of Foundation Damage

Exterior Warning Signs

The first noticeable sign on the outside of the home is usually brick cracks. There is usually a stair-step break in the mortar and/ or bricks but sometimes these cracks can be vertical or horizontal. This is confirmation that nature’s forces (soil movement) were stronger than your concrete foundation and a portion of it has broken or cracked. Cracks in the brick and mortar become more pronounced in the second story of two story houses.

The outside brick around the fireplace is also a common area of damage when the concrete slab has been broken.  Look at corners and note any “bowing” of the bricks.  Fireplace brick can also “pull away” from the main portion of the home. Windows are another common area of damage when the foundation moves.  Check around the window frames for any gaps. Sometimes the soil movement is great enough to warp the window frame and break the glass, which is obvious to all.  Exterior doors that do not open or close properly may be the result of foundation movement.

This photo shows a common door frame location for interior sheetrock cracks.

Warning Signs of Foundation Problems

Interior Warning Signs

The most common interior warning signs of foundation damage are cracks in the walls or sheetrock. Often the crack will originate at the upper corner of an interior door or window and move upward at a diagonal angle. Other sheetrock cracks can be vertical or horizontal and these cracks are very strong warning signs of undesired foundation movement.  Cracks in floor tiles and interior doors that do not open or close properly are other interior warning signs.

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