things that don't need foundation repair now

6 Issues That Don’t Need Immediate Foundation Repairs – It’s Not That Bad

You’re seeing some stuff around your home that has you worried about foundation issues. In fact, you’re more than worried, you’re feeling like it’s urgent. But is it??

Anchor Foundation Repair Bryan College Station

At Anchor Foundation Repair, we don’t fix things that don’t need fixin’ and we don’t try to sell you stuff that you don’t need. After looking at thousands of Brazos Valley homes over 35+ years in business, we tend to take a level-headed view on foundation issues and don’t want anyone panicking about their home. 

Who better to advise you on whether foundation repairs are really needed or not?

This article will discuss home symptoms that folks tend to worry over that aren’t a big foundation repair deal. We’ll also explain why we don’t feel these issues are urgent. Then, we get into better indicators that foundation repair is needed so you know when your worries justify taking action.

6 Minor Issues That Cause Worry About Foundation Problems

We often get calls from people insisting that we come to look at these problems, convinced that emergency repairs are needed. We’d honestly say these things are not that bad and likely won’t recommend foundation repairs if this is what you’re seeing in your home.

Here is a list of home signs that send homeowners into a tailspin of worry that are not indicators of major foundation problems.

don't freak out about foundation problems
  1. Sheetrock seam exposure or cracking,
  2. Door rubs on the frame or occasionally sticks,
  3. Small hairline cracks in walls,
  4. Brick mortar cracks on one exterior wall, 
  5. Corner pop, or
  6. Just one sign of foundation settlement and no others.

Don’t worry, we will explain why these are not urgent issues in the next section.

Why Minor Signs Are Not Major Foundation Concerns

We’ll go through these minor signs one by one, explaining our thoughts on why these signs and symptoms are not much of a concern at the moment. Not that some of these settlement signs can’t evolve into bigger problems – someday they could become an issue worth repairing, but not right now. True foundation problems develop over time and many years of foundation movement. 

1. Sheetrock Seam Exposure or Cracking

Flaws that begin to appear along sheetrock/drywall seams are signs that frequently freak people out but often aren’t serious enough to warrant foundation repairs. Drywall seams that start to call attention to themselves are not a top sign of foundation settlement.

misleading signs of foundation problems

Temperature, rainfall, humidity, and indoor vs. outdoor conditions all impact your framing and drywall seams making it look like your foundation is possibly moving, but it’s more likely these other factors.

Sheetrock seam issues have other more common causes, like:

  • Aging tape and inadequate floating technique,
  • Poor workmanship, or
  • In a location more exposed to the elements, like a garage or high ceiling affected by indoor heat and cold exterior temperatures.

This seam issue is also tricky because it can sometimes signal that foundation movement is occurring. Not all foundation movement equals foundation settlement – and not all foundation settlement equals foundation problems. Many times, homes can experience periods of seasonal (i.e. temporary) settlement when our weather conditions change from cold to hot and/or wet to dry. 

2. Door Rubbing on Frame or Occasionally Sticking

door issues are not always foundation problems

Sticking doors are a common sign of foundation settlement, more specifically rubbing on the sides of the door frame. However, your door problem may or may not be a foundation problem. Like the section above about sheetrock, rainfall and temperatures can influence doors easily. Many times a door issue will correct itself through seasonal rebounding with a good rain after a summer drought.

Many people notice that their doors might show a little light or space around them at different times of the year and then go back to normal.

Doors can also experience a loosening of hardware where the hinges meet the door jamb. Maybe the door frame is compromised, or the screws could be loose. If you only have one door doing strange things and no other settlement signs, it could be one of these other issues.

3. Small Hairline Cracks in Walls

diagonal wall cracks foundation problem
Long, separating cracks are more worrisome.

Small hairline cracks in your drywall or sheetrock may or may not be foundation-related. I feel like a broken record here but again, framing and drywall are very susceptible to movement when indoor and outdoor temperatures are in opposition to one another. Humidity, outdoor weather, and how you have your thermostat set inside can create hairline cracks in your walls.

The big thing to pay attention to is the direction of any wall cracks. If diagonal cracks are coming off of door or window frames or cased openings, that is a sign of foundation settlement. But with many things in life, there is a severity scale to consider.

Short, barely discernible cracks are a lot different than long cracks that show separation. You have to remember that drywall is one of the weakest materials in your home. It’s super easy to damage and break. So even a little movement can sometimes create cracks, but it doesn’t mean you automatically have a foundation problem that now requires immediate repair.

4. Brick Mortar Cracks on One Exterior Wall

If you are seeing brick mortar cracks, particularly in a stair-step pattern, that is a sign that some foundation settling is occurring. But if they are small or only appear on one exterior wall, it might not be time for foundation repairs just yet.

It’s a good time to start monitoring for early signs of foundation settlement, but not a signal to move directly into repair mode.

5. Corner Pop

Corner pop happens when the slab on the corner of your home starts cracking and might come off. It’s caused by brick expanding at a different rate than concrete and a lack of (or faulty) barrier between the two. It’s a workmanship issue concerning how your brick was laid on top of the slab or if the rebar placement is a little off but it does not typically indicate a foundation problem.

Examples of Corner Pop

Corner pop is one of those home problems that is kind of unsightly and people think it looks like a very serious issue. But it’s mostly cosmetic and doesn’t affect the structural integrity of your home.

6. Just One Sign of Foundation Settlement and No Others

Just one sign of foundation settlement is not the time to worry. When we decide to recommend repairs, we are looking for a combination of telltale signs of foundation issues and some of them causing functional problems for your home.

Functionality issues are things like your door won’t open, close, or lock right, your windows don’t slide well, or you’ve got a big gap letting in air around a door or window somewhere. If foundation concerns are causing something to not work properly, then it’s a functional problem.

when do you need your foundation repairs done?

We also take into account the feelings of the homeowner and the degree of distress you’re feeling about the issue. But sometimes people get a little too worried over little issues and we don’t feel it’s right to take advantage of your uneasiness. We’d rather write an article to help you worry less when the issues we see in your home don’t call for immediate repairs.

Jumping right into a big expense like foundation repair might not be the best way to spend your money . . . at least not right now. 

It’s worth waiting when signs and symptoms are minor because true foundation problems are slow to develop over many years. If you’ve only got one sign that just appeared, and it’s not bothersome to your daily life, we recommend holding off on repairs and keeping a watchful eye instead.

What Are the True Signs of Foundation Problems?

We’ve got several articles about the top signs of foundation issues, as well as the real and misleading signs of foundation problems. But the main ones that we look for that spell trouble are:

  1. Significant diagonal cracks in drywall,
  2. Several stair-step brick cracks on the exterior,
  3. Important doors not latching, locking, or closing properly all the time,
  4. Trim Separations on the exterior, and
  5. Other inside fixtures, built-ins, or cabinetry separating from walls.
signs of foundation settlement

We’re looking for multiple indicators in proximity to one another and around your home that point to foundation settlement and listening for issues that are causing you a lot of distress. For more insight into how we determine when a foundation needs repair, check out How To Know If Your Home Has Foundation Problems.

How to Monitor for Foundation Issues and When to Act

Now that you know not every small sign of foundation settlement is severe enough for repairs, you want to know how to best keep an eye on your foundation’s condition and when it’s really the right time for repairs. We recommend monitoring your home for a full year and observing how things change through the seasons. 

tic mark to monitor for foundation settlement

If you have diagonal cracks in your walls, setting tick marks will help you keep an eye on their progression.

At Anchor Foundation Repair, we feel strongly about this so it’s worth an encore: we don’t fix things that don’t need fixin’, and we don’t try to sell you stuff you don’t need. After 35+ years in business, that’s what’s best for our Brazos Valley community and for exceptional homeowners like you. 

We’re here to help guide you through the foundation repair process and that includes helping you understand when it’s not worth it to do repairs right away vs. when to get a foundation inspection because it’s likely time for repairs.