Not all foundation damage begins with large cracks or water seeping into the basement. Sometimes the issue is with a foundation that begins to sink. Although a foundation may sink evenly, many times, one side sinks more quickly than the other and makes everything unlevel. Knowing the signs of a sinking foundation ensures you catch the problem early enough so that repairs are possible.
1. Uneven Flooring
The floor of your home should be relatively level. If it begins to become unlevel a noticeable amount, then the foundation may be sinking. Signs that the floor is uneven is if dropped items tend to roll quickly to one corner. Another sign is that cabinets and built-in furniture separate from the wall, and gaps form behind them. Floor tiles may also crack or separate when the subfloor is unlevel due to sinking.
2. Frame Gaps
Window and door frames often provide some of the first clues that something is wrong with the foundation. Gaps may form between the frame and the wall, for example. In some cases, the frames skew with the sinking foundation, so doors and windows begin to stick or they fail to close completely.
3. Corner Cracks
Interior cracks in plaster and drywall can be a symptom of a sinking foundation, particularly if the cracks form in the corners of a room or around the corners of window and door frames. Nails may also begin to pop out of the drywall as the framing behind the drywall sinks with the foundation.
4. Soil Chasms
An exterior symptom of a sinking foundation is a gap between the soil and the foundation wall. The soil should sit snug against the foundation, so if a chasm forms, particularly if it is only on one side of the foundation, it can be a clear indication that the foundation is sinking unevenly.
5. Fixture Issues
Fixtures in the home may become damaged as the sinking foundation pulls them out of the wall. For example, plumbing pipes that go through the foundation or wall may develop breaks and leaks, or the wall around the fixture may crumble due to the pressure of moving against the fixture. Wall-mounted pedestal sinks may become detached from the wall, and vents may no longer line up correctly.
Contact a residential foundation repair service in our area if you suspect that your foundation may be sinking or if you experience other foundation problems.