Don’t you *just love* being confused? You look at one blog article and it says, “This (insert thing that is worrying you around your home here) is a sure sign of foundation issues.” Then you look at another article and it says, “Oh no, this (insert same thing that is stressing you out here) is not a sign of foundation problems.”
Home issues like “corner pop” and “ghosting doors” can be confusing or misleading and are not the best indicators of a foundation problem. It’s not that these signs can’t happen in homes with foundation issues, it’s that these symptoms often have other more likely explanations.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have been inspecting and repairing Brazos Valley foundations for 35+ years. We can shed some light on a few signs around your home that may or may not be telltale signs of foundation settlement.
This article will describe corner pop and ghosting doors, explain how they happen, and talk about how they can sometimes be confusing signs of foundation settlement. We will also route you to some sources that will give you better indicators to look for when the state of your foundation is in question.
Confusing and Misleading Signs of Foundation Issues
There are a couple of symptoms that fall into the “need more information” department to determine if you have a foundation problem. These home problems can sometimes signify a foundation issue and sometimes not so they are in a category all on their own. We’ll call this the “Confusing and Misleading” signs category.
1. Corner Pop
Corner pop sounds like a lot of fun in words but when homeowners see it, they tend to panic. It *looks bad* and makes people worry, but it’s not always a big deal for your foundation. Sometimes corner pop is a concern and sign of foundation issues and sometimes it is not.
Corner pop literally looks like the corner of your foundation near the ground has “popped” off the house. Or the corner could just be cracked but looks like if you were to hit it really hard with a sledgehammer that the corner would break off.
Check out the pictures so you can see what this looks like. Corner pop occurs most often on slab foundation homes with brick or masonry walls.
What happens is that there is supposed to be a barrier between the concrete slab and the brick wall. When the barrier is non-existent or flawed, it causes contact between the brick wall and the concrete. These two materials expand at different rates and when the brick expands more it can pull/push the corner of the slab off.
Corner pop can be part of a larger foundation problem (brick or non-brick) OR can be caused by opposing expansion forces of masonry and concrete in a brick home which does not indicate a foundation issue on its own.
If the only sign you are seeing in your home is corner pop, and you have no other signs of foundation problems, then this is more likely to be a workmanship issue where the barrier between the materials is not fully in place or there at all.
For a more in-depth explanation of corner pop, check out this article: What is Corner Pop? Is It a Sign of Foundation Problems for My Home?
2. Ghosting Doors
No, a ghosting door is not a door that suddenly starts ignoring all your text messages and never contacts you again. Ghosting doors are kinda creepy, but they aren’t usually that rude.
Interior doors around your home that swing or move on their own without touch are said to be “ghosting.”
Sometimes ghosting doors can be attributed to foundation movement affecting door frames or can be caused by a simple hinge problem. If you have multiple ghosting doors that are all opening towards a certain direction, then it could indicate that you have a slope in your foundation but not necessarily a problem.
If you only have one ghosting door and no other signs of foundation issues, then you probably just have a hinge problem or some other door adjustment issue.
Door hinge issues can be kind of hard to problem solve no matter what. Be sure you either know what you are doing or can find a contractor who works with doors a lot to solve your hinge issues. Sometimes you start messing around with a door and it cascades into a worse problem because hinges and doors are just tricky.
Combinations Of True Foundation Problem Signs
If confusing or misleading signs like corner pop or ghosting doors are appearing as stand-alone symptoms, you likely don’t have a foundation problem. If they are happening along with some of the other true signs of foundation problems, then it contributes to the overall story of confirming foundation settlement in your home.
It takes a combination of several signs and symptoms acting together to reveal a true problem that requires repair. You will never see “just one thing” and that’s it if you have a foundation issue.
The more telltale signs of foundation problems are things like:
- Diagonal cracks in drywall
- Stairstep cracks in brick
- Doors not closing, locking, or latching properly, and
- Trim separations
If you are seeing multiple signs like the ones listed above, it’s far more likely that you have a foundation problem than if you just have corner pop or a lone ghosting door.
For More Info on Actual Signs of Foundation Issues
Now that we have cleared up a couple of these confusing signs, do you want to see more information on symptoms that are better indicators of foundation problems?
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have been inspecting and repairing foundations in Bryan, College Station, and other Brazos Valley communities like Brenham and Madisonville since 1985. We’ve seen it all when it comes to actual, false, and confusing signs of foundation settlement issues.
Check out this definitive article and picture guide that includes *all the top* true and false signs of foundation problems, as well as more on these misleading symptoms we have just discussed that often leave homeowners confused.