Signs of Foundation Problems

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As appraisers we observe the signs of foundation problems.  We are not experts in foundation repair but if we observe the signs of possible foundation problems we will recommend an expert to determine if there are structural concerns in a house.  This is a guest post from Jim Oursler of Granite Foundation Repair of Dallas, TX.  Jim explains some of the most common signs of foundation repair in homes

Signs of Foundation Problems
Quite literally, the foundation is the base of your home. It’s the bedrock on which the entire structure rests on. When there are problems with the foundation, it can be devastating to your home, your life, and your family.
A house’s foundation is subject to environmental stress. Some of the most common threats to your home’s foundation include inadequate drainage, excessive moisture, and contracting and expanding soil.
Environmental stress, over time, can cause the foundation to crack, shift or settle excessively. As a homeowner, it can be fairly easy for you to miss the early warning signs of foundation issues.
While some signs of foundation problems are more obvious, for example, look out for signs such as pooling of water near a slab foundation, sagging floors, doors that stick, and cracks in plaster walls, other signs are more subtle at first. For example, uneven floors or small cracks in the foundation and/or drywall.
Jim Oursler at Granite Foundation Repair in Dallas ( elaborated on the common signs of foundation problems.

Common Indicators of Foundation Issues

1.    Cabinets or counters separating from the adjacent wall.

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Have you noticed the gap between the wall and the cabinets or counters continues to widen? You may be wondering why your cabinet is separating from the wall. If so, it’s likely your home is experiencing foundation failure.
At first, the problem may not be noticeable. But, you may begin noticing the gap has grown to as much as half an inch. At this point, you could be facing a major problem.
If you notice anything like this, act immediately and call a foundation repair company as soon as possible.

2.    Sagging or uneven floors.

Do your floors appear to be sagging or uneven? If so, it’s likely your home is experiencing foundation movement.
When pier and beam foundations are impacted by foundation issues, floors usually sag and squeak. For concrete slabs, floors will tend to appear out of level or uneven. Since the positioning of pier and beam foundations and slab foundations are different, they are also affected in different ways.
Although the two types of foundations may have flooring problems, the signs of damage are typically unrelated.
Aside from being an eyesore, floors that are uneven or sagging pose a safety risk, particularly for elderly individuals and small children.
Over time, floors that once appeared to be uneven by half an inch may become out of level by as much as two inches.

3.    Gaps around window frames or exterior doors.

This is also another common sign of foundation issues. You may notice that your exterior doors and/or exterior window frames are starting to have spaces around them. You may also notice that your doors no longer latch properly as they used to.
Also, if you have double doors, you may notice that they are not aligning properly. In addition, door frames may become crooked and render all types of doors unusable.

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

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Are your doors sticking? If so, it could be a sign of trouble. This is a frequent indication of a foundation problem. Interior doors may drag or stick at the top. Exterior doors may hang down at the top or drag at the threshold and appear uneven.
French doors, for example, may not hang correctly or may not meet in the middle. They could be off by as little as a quarter an inch, but the difference could become more than half an inch.
More often than not, this is a problem that affects all kinds of foundations, whether it be a house or a commercial structure.
In some few cases, humidity may also cause doors to stick and fail to open or close properly. This oftentimes follows after a severe flooding or heavy rain. However, if the problem doesn’t go away in a couple of days, it could be a sign of a foundation settling.

5.    Foundation upheaval.

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Has your slab foundation moved in an upward direction? If so, it’s likely your structure is experiencing foundation upheaval. Upheaval occurs whenever your foundation or slab moves upward due to soil expansion or contraction.
It’s a serious problem and could make your home uninhabitable.
Foundation upheaval usually impacts the perimeter of a concrete slab foundation. But, there are also some cases where it also affects the interior of a home and affects areas including doorways, hallways, and other areas.
Upheaval can be caused by many factors. These factors include frost heave, under-slab leaks, and expanding and contracting of the soil. In slab foundations, moisture is the most common cause of upheaval.

6.    Foundation settling or sinking.

Foundation settling or sinking is the opposite of foundation upheaval. What begins as a half-an-inch deep dent in one area of your home could grow to become a huge four-inch dip.
Because foundations settle disproportionately, you may observe that one side of your house is lower than the other. Have a professional assess the damage and don’t wait any longer to do repairs.

7.    Cracks on foundation, wall or floors.

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This is arguably the most common sign of foundation damage. Hairline fissures are exceedingly common in house. Cracks in the ceiling, as well as wall or floor cracks, may be a natural part of the aging process as your home settles slightly over time. However, if you notice that over time the gaps are growing, it could mean your home is experiencing excessive soil movement.

These are the 7 most common signs of foundation problems. If you notice any one of these, please consult a competent foundation repair company to get them fixed. 

Jim Oursler is the co founder and owner of Granite Foundation Repair in Dallas, TX.  They have been serving the Greater Dallas/Fort Worth area for 15 years.  You can find more about Granite Foundation Repair as well as read their blog at


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