How To Identify 8 Common Signs Of Foundation Problems In Houses Or Commercial Buildings


Your home is the most costly investment you will ever make. It is important to protect your house. It’s important to recognize the common indicators of foundation problems in houses and commercial structures throughout the United States. Concrete slabs, pier and beam foundations may develop serious issues that require foundation repair . Basements can also be severely damaged.

Many things can cause foundation damage, including poor foundation drainage, soil compaction, and climate. We have compiled a list of possible foundation problems signs that you may need foundation repair service.

Some properties in the United States are negatively affected by ice or snow. Subtropical properties often experience complications from excessive heat (over 90-100°F), rain, extreme flooding (4-5′ in a short time) and droughts. Foundation problems in commercial and residential buildings as well as apartment blocks can be addressed quickly.

It is advisable to call a foundation contractor if you are concerned about foundation damage. They will inspect your concrete slab and pier foundations or basement. A professional with experience should be able pinpoint the problem and prevent it from getting worse. Remember that the first step to finding the best solution is to identify the source of the problem. Sometimes, contractors may recommend hiring a structural engineering team to assess your foundation and prepare an engineer’s report. The cost of this service is generally between $350-$500 to build a house and $500-$750 for apartment buildings and commercial buildings. The prices are the same across all US cities. The truth is that the more expensive a structure, the greater the cost. A report from a structural engineer may be helpful, depending on the extent of the damage.

Take a moment to understand the signs that could indicate that your house foundation in Los Angeles is not in good condition to avoid costly repairs. Problems are common and costly. Foundation repair costs for slab, pier, and beam foundations typically range between $4,000 and $8500 for an average-sized home. However, prices can go up if there is extensive damage to your property or a large structure like an apartment complex, church building, school, warehouse, or commercial property.

Please note that this is a short list of common signs that foundation problems occur. There may be other issues that could indicate more serious issues. This information is useful for anyone with a property that requires service or commercial foundation repairs.


Foundation Cracks, Wall/Floor cracks, and other types of Fractures

You may have noticed cracks in your foundation, brick exterior or walls of your commercial property or house. This could be a sign that your foundation is not working properly. Problems can also include floor cracks, wall fissures, and a cracked chimney. Foundation movement can happen over time due to many conditions. Your foundation may shift, and gaps can become a serious problem. Problems can be caused by both expanding and contracting soils and inclement weather.

Although it is normal for foundations to sink and develop small cracks within the first 2 years of construction (1/16″ hairline fissures) could be a sign that your house has experienced more than a reasonable amount of settlement. Horizontal cracks in brick exteriors, concrete block walls or basement walls could signify excessive settling. A 1/4 inch gap could be cause for concern. These fractures can be more severe than vertical cracks, as they could indicate that your house’s foundation is under too much pressure. Vertical cracks are not usually a sign of trouble, as dry walls also run in the same direction.

Modest foundation cracks and wall cracks typically measure 5-15mm in height, corresponding to a width between.2″ and.3. 6″. Cracks that are more severe than 15mm (.6″) or smaller are considered more serious. Horizontal cracks may indicate that your foundation is under water pressure. Some foundation cracks can grow up to 1-2 inches wide. Insects and water can weaken these cracks.

You will need to identify if your vertical or horizontal gap when you examine them, particularly if they are in interior walls. You may notice some fractures at 45 degrees. This could be a sign of foundation movement. Your sheetrock walls will gradually ripen and eventually develop large tears if this is the case. It is always a good idea learn signs that foundation problems are occurring.

An angular crack in the foundation can result from brick coming into contact with slab foundation. These fractures can be anywhere from 10 to 15 inches in length. Brick expands and pushes the brick edges outward. This is usually not a cause for concern and is not usually a sign of a problem with the foundation.

Stair-step cracks in brick exteriors are another type of fracture that deserves closer inspection. These cracks are usually found near the corners of exteriors, and they run up and down. This could be due to the way your home was built, or because builders didn’t anticipate the “growth of bricks” over time. Cracked bricks in older homes could indicate a foundation problem.

Fractures can be a sign of trouble but don’t assume that your foundation has been damaged. Keep in mind that cracks can be cosmetic and not cause for concern.

Foundation Setting or Sinking

Have your home or other structure checked if it seems to be sinking, or has settlement problems. This is because settlement is an ordinary sign that your foundation problem may be. You may notice a difference in the height of one side of your home or that your commercial building’s center is sinking. Your foundation might need to be lifted, and you may require interior or exterior foundation pilings. They are installed around your foundation to raise it or in your interior. Many property owners with concrete slab foundations know that installing interior foundation piers can cause cracks in the concrete slab, leading to a lot of mess.

Foundation settlement causes mostly vertical gaps. When inspecting your foundation, it is important to remember this: A small dip of 1/2 inch in one corner of your house could quickly become a major problem. A foundation can sink into the ground 2″-4″ if left unattended. Extremely severe is anything less than 1-1/2″. Your foundation problem will only get worse the longer you ignore it. You should also know that extensive settlement can lead to safety problems. You can prevent foundation failure by calling a foundation contractor as soon as you notice any problems. This will minimize the risk and reduce your risks.

Over time, foundations will settle in other areas. Although homeowners may notice one side of their house sinking first, other sides of the foundation will eventually begin to sink. Your foundation will also become more out of alignment. Although the house’s load bearing weight is the same on all sides, the foundation’s differential moisture content can differ. This is why foundations settle differently to each other. This is often called “differential movement” by contractors. Once it occurs, structural changes can be made. You’ll soon notice strange problems, such as cracking around your house. Foundation settlement causes cracks that are usually vertical. Foundation repair services can resolve this problem.

Foundation movement can cause settling. It will impact commercial buildings and houses differently depending on the type of foundation and how it was built. Foundation movement does not affect slab foundations in the same way as pier or beam foundations. Houses with basements are an entirely different story. No matter what type of foundation you have the volume of the soil on which it was built can affect how stable it is. Call a professional if you require any type of foundation service, such as slab, pier, and beam foundation repair.

Some builders use poor construction techniques, and some have been known to build foundations on soils that are not well compacted. When the foundation of a house, apartment, or business center is too heavy, it can cause problems. A soil engineer may be able to conduct a soil analysis and ensure that the soil has been properly compacted before you start building your new home.

Remember that even a single vertical crack could indicate that your foundation is moving upwards. If your foundation suddenly starts to sink or settle, it could be a sign that your house was built on a sinkhole. Although it is rare, this can happen from time to time. It needs immediate attention. Contact a foundation contractor immediately if you suspect this to be a possibility.

Foundation Upheaval

Foundation upheaval is when your slab foundation moves in an upward direction. This is one indicator that foundation problems are occurring and could indicate that your structure is experiencing “foundation settling”. Although heaving is most common in concrete slab foundations’ perimeter, it can also affect your home’s interior including hallways and doorways. The walls of the garage are almost always raised.

Foundation upheaval can occur in slab foundations, including soil expansion and contraction, excess moisture from rain or under-slab plumbing leaks, and frost heave. Clay soils are more susceptible to moisture, as clay soils expand and gain volume when wet.

The #1 cause of foundation instability is moisture. A lot of moisture can be trapped beneath slab foundations due to heavy rains and plumbing problems caused by under-slab plumbing leaks. Your water loss could reach 10-50 gallons per day or more. If you suspect this, check your water bill. It becomes heavier when soil is wet. It can make your foundation move upwards due to the weight of the soil. This is when homeowners notice doors sticking and steel columns moving upwards. You may need slab foundation repair.

Frost heave is a common cause of foundation problems. This is because water freezes at temperatures below 32 degrees. It increases its volume by 9%. Foundation movement can occur when this happens. Slab foundation cracks can easily be seen if the foundation shifts.

Slab foundations can move a lot and they are often forced upwards by as high as 1-1/2″-2.1/2″. It takes far less movement to cause severe damage to all types of foundations including commercial buildings, houses, apartments, shopping centers, schools, and other structures.

Doors that stick or don’t open properly and close properly

Your foundation may be causing your doors to stick. Interior doors that are damaged tend to stick to the top. Exterior doors with foundation problems are more likely to drag at the threshold or hang down at their tops and look uneven. The top left side may be higher than its top right. The difference could be as small as 1/4″ but can easily grow to 1/2 or more. French doors and other double doors might not fit properly or meet in the middle. This problem can affect any type of slab, pier or beam foundation, whether it is on a commercial building or a home. This problem can affect any property.

Humidity can cause doors to stick or not open and close correctly due to sticking (75-100%). This happens most often after severe flooding or heavy rains. Foundation cracks and other types of fractures around your commercial property or home can also be signs of foundation settling. Contact a contractor immediately if foundation damage is evident. You may be experiencing foundation damage.

A professional should evaluate your foundation to determine if water leaks may be a problem. A good contractor can help you find one if you aren’t sure who to call. This test will determine if there are any leaks in your foundation and, if so where. The problem could be caused by drought conditions or excessive heat. Many parts of the United States have temperatures that range from 20 to well over 100 degrees. Sometimes, heat can exceed 120.

Until the problem is fully examined, there is no way to know what it is. A foundation evaluation takes about 45 minutes to an hour and is very quick. It’s always a good idea to have it done. A foundation contractor with experience should be able tell you more about your property and the signs that it is in trouble.

Gaps around Exterior Doors or Window Frames

Many homeowners notice cracks around their exterior windows frames and around their doors. Sometimes, they may notice that their doors do not latch. This could indicate a foundation problem.

Double doors can become difficult to close when they don’t align correctly. Door frames can become crooked, preventing all types of doors from operating correctly. You can inspect your home or property for signs of this problem.

Sagging Or Uneven Floors

You may notice that your floors appear out of alignment or bowing, sagging or dipping. Floors can sag or squeak when foundation problems affect beam and pier foundations. Concrete slabs can cause floors to be uneven or not level. Concrete slab foundations are placed directly on the ground, whereas pier or beam foundations are not. This means that they can be affected differently. Both may have flooring problems, but the signs of damage are different.

Sagging floors can be dangerous for people with disabilities or small children. Floors that appear unevenly level at first may look like they are. However, over time, this can become a problem. You should have your foundation repaired as soon as you can to avoid such hazards. Foundation movement should be stopped.

A Damp Crawl Space in A Pier and Beam House

A crawl space with heavy moisture can indicate foundation problems or imminent development. It is important to identify the cause of moisture in your crawl space and take steps to reduce it.

Remember that moisture can attract insects and cause wood beams to rot beneath your home or building. You may notice a musty, foul-smelling odor in damp crawl spaces. A wet crawl space can lead to mold and mildew.

It is important to have a foundation drainage system if you live near flooding or where it rains often. A French drain or a surface drain can be installed to redirect smaller amounts of water from below your house. Even if the water is less than 1/8 inch deep, standing water can cause foundation damage and expensive repairs. It’s possible to have a problem if there is any moisture. You should look out for signs you might have problems.

A polyethylene vapor barrier can be installed in your crawl space if you notice a lot of moisture. This barrier stops water from evaporating and makes the crawl space damp. Contractors who are familiar with beam and pier foundations may be able to help.

These types of problems can be addressed with a variety of other solutions. Consult a contractor who has expertise in repairing foundations for commercial and residential structures if you find that the space below your beam and pier foundation is showing signs of damage.

Counters and cabinets that are separate from the wall

Have you ever noticed that your countertops and kitchen cabinets seem to be pulling away from the wall or tilting? They may have moved slightly at first, but then it becomes 1/8″. Soon, the cabinets and countertops will appear to be at least 1/2″ away from the wall. This is a sign that you have major problems.

This is a sign that foundation damage has occurred. Cabinets and many other items in your home that aren’t on the same level as walls will also become unlevel if they don’t meet the required level. You may feel that things are not hanging properly or sloping. Something may be affecting the foundation, making it uneven.

What to do if you see things that indicate foundation issues:

You should investigate unusual situations if you notice them. First, contact a foundation contractor to thoroughly inspect your home or other structures. These inspections are usually free. Property owners often find that there is nothing to be concerned about.

What if a contractor determines that repairs are necessary?

If the contractor finds foundation damage, they will provide an estimate to repair your crack concrete slab, sinking beam foundation, or problematic basement. You should receive this estimate in writing. If you consider hiring a contractor to repair your foundation, make sure they offer a warranty. Ask if the warranty is transferable for a lifetime. This is the best type.

The contractor will restore your foundation to its original position and then make it stand again if you discover that it needs repair. This is also known as “house leveling” and “foundation leveling.” The contractor will lift your commercial property or house to make repairs. They will then install structural supports called foundation piers or foundation pilings underneath it. Once the job is done, your foundation will be placed on top of these pilings.

You can use many foundation piers, but most contractors prefer to install steel piers or pressed concrete. These piers are round and approximately 10-11 inches long. Both are very reliable and can strengthen your foundation. Steel foundation piers are more expensive than concrete pilings and can be installed deeper in the soil. They are often pushed up to 35 feet into the ground, but they can go further. The vast majority of commercial and residential buildings do not require that piers are installed this deep to reach solid rock. Most piers can only be dug to 12-20 feet below the surface. If you don’t require them, it’s not worth spending on steel piers. Pilings made from steel can run over $500 each.

Contractors usually install concrete piers until they reach what is commonly referred to as the “point of refusal”. This means that foundation piers are driven down into the ground using a hydraulic jack as far as possible.

An expert in foundation repair can help you determine how many piers are necessary to fix your foundation. It will impact the cost of restoring your foundation. You may only need 6-8 piers. Or, you might need 25. Only a contractor will be able to tell you the truth.

Realizing that your commercial or residential building is a significant investment, it is important to take steps to protect it and, if necessary, to have it repaired. Take some time to inspect your structure. A qualified contractor should be contacted immediately if you have concerns about the foundation or notice signs of problems.


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