The High and Dry Blog
Toronto’s structural clarity in a sea of confusion.
Is Your Foundation is in Trouble: Part One
January 30, 2020
The foundation of your home is very important. Without a proper functioning foundation your home could become unstable or even collapse. That’s why it is important to know what to look for so that you can tell if your foundation is in trouble. This blog will look at the many different issues that can happen to your foundation and how to identify them before your foundation is compromised.
Are the walls in your home bowing? This could mean that your foundation is in trouble. Here are some signs and causes of bowing walls:
Signs of Bowing Walls
There are several signs that you can look out for if you’re concerned your home has bowing walls. Some of the signs to watch out for include:
• Diagonal and horizontal cracks
• Bulging or bowing on the walls
• Walls that lean in on the top or the bottom
• Wet or expanding soil around the foundation of the home
Causes of Bowing Walls
There are many different things that can cause your walls to begin bowing. One of the main things that causes foundations to bow is the soil they are surrounded by. If the soil around your foundation is applying pressure to your foundation, your foundation can be in trouble. This pressure is referred to as hydrostatic pressure. There are different factors that cause the pressure to build including:
• The type of soil
• The amount of moisture in the soil
• How deep the foundation goes
• The temperature outside
When these factors happen, and the hydrostatic pressure rises your foundation walls can be in serious trouble.
If you notice that your foundation is sinking, your foundation could be in trouble.
Signs of Foundation Sinking
There are many different signs to watch out for if you are concerned that your foundation is sinking. Keep reading to learn more about these signs!
If you notice stair-step cracking in your foundation this means that your foundation could be sinking. This type of foundation sinking is common in brick and block foundations. If this issue is not quickly addressed, the foundation can continue which will lead to vertical cracks that can grow and widen. If the cracks that you notice are wider at the top than the bottom, this means that the foundation sinking has been happening for quite some time.
If your home has a chimney and it is beginning to tilt, this is a serious sign that your foundation is moving. Chimneys weigh a lot and are generally constructed on the footing of the home.
Damaged Doors & Windows
If you’re concerned that your foundation may be settling, a good place to check for signs is around your doors and windows. If your foundation is settling, your doors and windows can shift and move out of their frames. This can result in visible cracks around the corners of your doors and windows. Depending on how your foundation is settling, your doors and windows may begin to jam.
Slab Floor Cracking
Another sign that your foundation is sinking is cracks in your basement floor. Basement floors are made of concrete and can actually sink or lift when under distress. These cracks are sometimes related to your foundation but can also mean that the slab floor has settled on its own without affecting the foundation of the home.
If you notice cracks in your drywall, your foundation may be in trouble. These cracks may be larger and easier to see in the upper levels of a home if your foundation is settling. The most common places to find these cracks is in corners of doors, windows, and along the seams of the drywall.
Sagging Crawl Space
Does your home have a crawl space? Is it beginning to sag? This could mean that your foundation is in trouble. Keep reading to learn more about the signs that your Crawl Space is sagging.
Signs of a Sagging Crawl Space
There are many different signs that can help you identify if your Crawl Space is sagging. Crawl Spaces are an important part of keeping your foundation stable and your house structurally safe. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about your Crawl Space and how structurally sound it is.
Crawl Space Supports Sinking
Occasionally, Crawl Space support pillars are built on soil that cannot support them with the added weight of your home. This means that they can sink into the soil as time passes. This can lead to your home sinking which means uneven floors and cracks in your walls.
Poor Structural Design
Unfortunately, contractors do not always build homes up to standard. This means that sometimes the Crawl Space in your home may not have been built with properly spaced support beans. This can result in your floor sinking into the gaps between the support beams.
Rotten Floor Joists
Another sign of a sagging Crawl Space is when the area is humid, damp, or experiencing flooding. This water damage can lead to mold, rot, and uninvited guests. Insects such as termites and carpenter ants can fill your Crawl Space and eat away at your Crawl Space supports. This means that the structural integrity of your Crawl Space can quickly become compromised.
The GJ MacRae Difference
If you’ve noticed any signs that your foundation is in trouble, contact the experts at GJ MacRae! Our team has been serving the Greater Toronto Area for decades and we can help you fix your home’s foundation. There is no other basement waterproofing company that has been in operation in the Greater Toronto Area for as long as us! We work hard to provide all of our customers with the information and repairs that they need in order to keep their houses a safe place for their families to call home.