Bulging floors, cracked walls, and doors that won’t close are all signs of foundation distress. Sixty percent of all homes on expansive soils suffer from foundation distress. The problem occurs when only part of the foundation heaves or settles, causing cracks and other damage.
This differential movement is largely caused by differences in soils moisture. Loss or gain of soil moisture can cause serious shrinkage or swelling.
If the frame of a house does not begin to distort until after three or more years of satisfactory performance, it is doubtful that the distortion is caused by full-depth foundation settlement, which is always evidenced by matching cracks. Cracks occur at each side of a portion of the foundation wall that is undergoing downward movements caused by soil bearing failure.
Settlement cracks are nearly always vertical, and they should not be confused with cracks that occur when a wall is subjected to lateral movement from soil pressure.
Exterior Warning Signs
- Wall rotation
- Separation around garage door, windows and/or walls
- Cracked bricks
- Broken and/or cracked foundation
- Displaced moldings
Interior Warning Signs
- Misaligned doors and windows
- Cracked sheetrock
- Cracks in the floor