How to Know if Your Foundation Needs Repair

brick foundation with cracks

It can be unnerving, to find cracks in your home’s walls, ceiling, or foundation.  You don’t know what it means.  Is it minor? Just a cosmetic issue? Will your house fall down?  I understand how easily reasonable concern can turn into panic.  

Since we first opened our doors in 1996, Acculevel has been repairing foundations and restoring health and stability to homes.  We are a family-owned and operated business, and we proudly serve Indiana and parts of the surrounding states.  Our goal is to treat each customer’s home like our own; we will listen to your concerns, address them thoroughly, explain our repair methods, and clearly detail our competitive pricing without high pressure sales tactics.

We are going to address the three major signs of foundation problems, give you additional symptoms to look for, and provide additional resources to help answer all your questions

 

Is There a Crack Inside Your Foundation?

Let’s start with the big red flag: you’ve found a crack in the foundation itself.  This is something that should be repaired, but depending on the type and size of the crack, it may be less frightening than it appears.  

If the crack is inside the home, in a basement or crawl space, it’s probably caused by water.  Hydrostatic pressure is a fancy term that means water in the soil around your home can push against the foundation and cause damage.  

  1. Is this crack thin? These are hairline cracks, and should be fixed before they start letting water into the house.  If it’s a thin crack that is widening and letting in water, act promptly.
  2. Is the crack a long horizontal one?  Or a zig-zag between concrete blocks?  This usually indicates that the wall is under so much pressure it’s beginning to bow.  Make an appointment with a quality foundation contractor now.  Just before the conclusion of this blog is a guide that will help you find the right repair company for you.
  3. Additional Reading: we have an article that explores the types of cracks you’ll find in a foundation, and how urgently you should respond

 

long vertical crack in concrete wallconcrete block wall, with multiple cracks

On the left, a hairline crack that was found when it started letting in water. On the right is a basement wall with both horizontal and stair-step cracks.  Both of these photos were taken by an Acculevel project manager during free estimate appointments.

What if There is a Crack on the Outside of Your Foundation?

Most of the time, a crack on the outside of your home’s foundation indicates a settling problem.  Other signs to watch for include:

  1. Cracks in the drywall of your home, especially if they are near windows or doorways.
  2. Doors or windows that “stick” when you’re trying to open or close them.  
  3. You need piers to repair a settling foundation.  We discuss how piers are installed and what they cost in a separate article. 

 

brick foundation with crackscrack in drywall around door

On the left, an exterior crack. On the right, a sticking door and cracks in the drywall.  Both of these are signs of foundation settling.  (And both photos were taken by project managers during free estimate appointments.)

Do You Have Other Concerns About Your Home?

The symptoms I have covered in this article are all foundation-related, but they are not the only possible concerns you may have about your home.  Sagging floors are a clear indication of instability and should be repaired promptly, but they are not foundation-specific problems.  

We have an article that explains what causes sagging floors, and another that reviews how repairs are performed

You are also welcome to use our free interactive symptom check, which provides information on causes, repairs, and pricing.  

link to symptom checker

Additional Resources

Finding the right contractor to make repairs on your home can be challenging.  You can get our top 5 traits to look for in a foundation repair expert, here.

We also have a list of the questions you should ask a contractor, complete with free downloadable form.  

And if you’re not sure what symptoms you should be watching out for?  You can find our free guide to conducting your own foundation inspection, here.  We recommend that you perform this inspection twice a year.  

 

The Next Step

If you would like to have a foundation expert come to your home, and you live within our service area, please contact Acculevel.  One of our friendly and knowledgeable project managers will meet with you, listen to your concerns, evaluate your home, then provide a free written estimate. 

Click here for a free estimate

 

Kelly Kater

Over her twenty year career, Kelly has worked in a wide variety of fields: secondary education, nursing, biology, elder care, the postal service, multicultural development, and academia. She has developed a skill for translating industry-specific jargon into everyday language. Her goal is to share the knowledge and experience of the Acculevel team with homeowners, in a way that is both engaging and informative.

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