July 10, 2023

What are the signs of a sinking foundation?

Here are a few signs of house subsidence that could indicate expert help is needed to avoid even greater damage.

What are the signs of a sinking foundation?

What are the signs of a sinking foundation?

Foundations are, as the name implies, fundamental to the house. Foundations can collapse, and, unfortunately, sometimes, people realize it too late. Renovations only become more complicated and costly, not to mention the safety problems caused by a sinking foundation!

In addition, it could cause your property to lose value.

First of all, it is important to know that most of the soils in Quebec are clayey. Therefore, they’re easily compressed and more likely to cause foundation settlement problems. Clay soils are also very rich in water, which makes them vulnerable to extreme cold and drought. This makes it especially important to recognize the signs of a sinking foundation.

Here are some signs to watch for that could indicate your foundation is sinking.

1) You Notice Cracks in the Foundation

Several factors can create visible cracks in the floor of your home. With the type of weather we experience in Quebec, it is common for foundation cracks to appear, even on new constructions. However, these can signify a sinking foundation, especially if the cracks are visible outside the house. Consult a foundation repair expert immediately because even if there is no sinking, these cracks will need to be repaired.

2) Doors and Windows are Jamming

If you start having trouble opening and closing your doors and windows, it may be a sign of foundation problems. If there are visible cracks in the wall around those same recalcitrant doors and windows, that's another sign. 

3) There are Visible Cracks in the Beams and Under the Load-Bearing walls

Given the importance of these elements to the structure of your home, their condition must be taken seriously.

4) Uneven Floors

If a pencil ends up on the other side of the room when you drop it, it's a sign that you need to check the condition of your foundation.

5) There is Water Infiltration

Many things can cause water infiltration in your home, such as roof problems or poorly positioned windows. It can also be cracks in the foundation. Water infiltration should be taken seriously because it can lead to major problems, even if a sinking foundation isn’t the cause.

6) There Are Leaks or Cracks Around the Fireplace

Keep an eye out for cracks or leaks around your fireplace. It's also possible that your fireplace is pulling away from the wall, especially on a slanted wall. Don't ignore this sign!

7) Nails Stand Out on the Walls

Nails sticking out are annoying and can also signify foundation issues. It can also be movements due to the wood framing, but it's best to have it checked out, especially if there are other signs of sinking foundations.

8) Wallpaper Tears or Peels

Wallpaper that peels or separates on its own indicates that the walls are moving. This may be a problem with your foundation.

9) The Chimney Is Leaning

A leaning chimney should be taken seriously, regardless of the underlying cause. It indicates serious structural or foundation problems.

Why is This Happening?

As mentioned previously, Quebec soil is particularly prone to sinking foundations. Large temperature variations and erosion are also aggravating factors. Urbanization development, vibrations caused by car and truck traffic, and the presence of large trees can also cause sinking foundations. 

What are the Solutions?

First of all, it is necessary to ask an expert who will be able to evaluate the extent of the problem. Repair work can include piling, concreting, waterproofing and crack repair. 

In any case, when in doubt, it is worthwhile to have your foundation checked by experts. If you have noticed several of the signs mentioned, don't wait! The longer you wait, the higher your bill could get.

Zachary Carbonneau

The conductor of operations: transforming chaos into a symphony of efficiency with style and a smile!

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