Foundation problems can come up in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons. If you’re experiencing problems with your foundation, you were probably experiencing warning signs before those foundation problems popped up. However, many people have a difficult time knowing exactly how foundation problems show themselves before they’re obvious. If you’re interested in discovering foundation problems before they happen so you can invest in Pittsburgh foundation repair, make sure you keep an eye out for these warning signs.
Bowing and Cracked Walls
Take a moment to go down into your basement and look at your basement walls. Do your basement walls stand straight up, or does it seem like they’re bulging inward? Do you notice cracks in the basement walls, especially horizontal cracks that start in the middle of the wall? These are all signs of bowing and cracked basement walls, and when you have a bowing or cracked basement wall, you’re almost certainly experiencing some foundation problems.
Specifically, bowing and cracked basement walls typically indicate that you’re experiencing specific issues with hydrostatic pressure along the outside of the basement. Hydrostatic pressure is the weight that water exerts when it’s at rest, and if water is filling the soil outside the basement, it can end up exerting a staggering amount of weight on the basement walls as a whole. That can cause them to start cracking and bowing inward, leaving you at risk for foundation problems and water intrusion issues.
Sagging and Bouncy Floors
The appearance of sagging and bouncing floors can be anything from noticing very small cracks underneath the walls in your home to extremely obvious dips in the middle of your floors. If you stand on your floor and jump up and down, you may also notice that the floor seems to “bounce” underneath you. This can happen on either the first floor or the second floor, and either way, it indicates that there’s a problem you should manage.
You should never just assume that sagging floors are a normal part of owning a home. Even on the second floor, you should never feel like the floor is “bouncing” underneath you, as that means there are issues with the foundational strength of the second floor overall. If the problems are coming out on the first floor, it typically means that there’s an issue with your floor joists, which run underneath the floor and keep the floor sturdy. Either way, they’re not normal and they’re an important thing to talk to an expert about.
Chimneys can have a huge variety of structural issues. Typically, chimneys are made of stone, which means they usually have a different build structure than the rest of the home, which likely isn’t made entirely of stone. Additionally, chimneys usually have their own foundation which is separate from the rest of the home’s foundation. This means if there’s a problem with the home’s foundation or the chimney’s foundation, you might see the chimney start to detach from the rest of the home.
When the chimney foundation and the foundation for the rest of the home start to move apart from each other, you’ll notice a tilting chimney. The chimney will typically tilt away from the home, although it’s possible for the bottom of the chimney to actually tilt toward the home if the chimney foundation is moving further away from the home. No matter how it’s tilting, it’s important to manage the tilting issues as early as possible so you can fix them cleanly.
Collapsing Retaining Wall
A retaining wall is a wall that keeps soil piled up. For example, if your home is right next to a large hill, there might be a retaining wall at the back of your back yard that helps keep the soil from the hill from falling into your yard. However, the biggest problem with retaining walls is that if you don’t construct them appropriately, they’re bound to collapse, and some of the most common retaining wall designs are also the most prone to collapse.
One of the important things to remember about retaining walls is that in some situations, they’re attached to your home’s foundation. That means a collapsing retaining wall could actually be an indication that your home’s foundation is in jeopardy. Of course, this isn’t the case with every retaining wall, and sometimes the problem could just be that the retaining wall didn’t have the strength it needed to stand up against the amount of soil it was trying to hold up. However, if you’re having issues, it’s probably a good idea to call in an expert to help.
No matter what foundation problems you’re experiencing, an expert is typically your best solution when it comes to fixing those problems. Many homeowners experience foundation problems, and making sure that you’re paying attention to those foundation problems when they come up is the best solution for avoiding serious concerns in the future. If you currently have any of these warning signs of foundation problems, you need to make sure you’re taking them seriously, as acting early can help you avoid future concerns that will be much more difficult and expensive to fix. Contact a local expert to learn more about whether or not you have foundation concerns and how an expert may be able to solve those foundation concerns for you.