Even the mere mention of “foundation problems” can give any homeowner a headache. It may evoke visions of expensive and time-consuming repairs, but the truth is, that many foundation problems are minor and easily fixable. The only way to know for sure is through a professional assessment by a professional foundation team, like the one at Van Matre Construction. However, while you may not have the experience or expertise to catch every sign of foundation problems, there are simple things that anyone can look for.
Here is a basic checklist for homeowners to help you get an idea of the health of your foundation.
1. Cracks in foundation exterior—as you walk around the outside of your home, do you see cracks in your concrete or masonry? How large are those cracks? Have they grown since the last time you checked? Pay extra attention to the shape/orientation of the cracks, noting if they are vertical, horizontal, or have a “stair-step” pattern.
2. Bowing or tilting walls—check to see if your foundation walls seem straight and level, or if they’re tilting or bulging. Make note if you have brick/retaining walls that are separating from the foundation wall.
3. Pooling water—check your exterior drainage situation, from your gutters and downspouts to any other drains, sprinklers, or pipes near the foundation. Any leaks or bad drainage could seriously impact your foundation.
1. Sagging, bouncing, or uneven floors—check if your floors inside are smooth and level or if they bounce, sag, or seem otherwise unstable.
2. Cracks in walls—check your walls, especially the basement or lower level walls, and especially around the corners and window/door frames. Look for any cracks larger than a hair.
3. Frames out of square—go around and open and close all your doors and windows, making note of any that stick or are hard to move. Check the framing to find any spots of unevenness or separation.
4. Drywall damage—notice if any of your drywall, especially in the lower level, seems squishy, has paint peeling, or has nails pushing through.
5. Dampness and moisture damage—check your entire home, basement, and crawl space for signs of moisture. If you see any damp areas, standing water, visible mold, or rotting wood, you’ve likely got problems with your foundation.
When assessing your home’s foundation, this checklist is a good place to start. If you notice any of these items, no matter how minor, it’s important to reach out to your Denver foundation experts right away. Give us a call at Van Matre Construction and schedule your free inspection today.