You suspect that your slab is showing signs of foundation problems, but you’re not really sure if it’s time to call for a foundation inspection. What are the signs of a foundation issue and how can you tell if it’s enough to contact someone?
You don’t want to waste anyone’s time or possibly spend money on an inspection if you don’t need to. Saving time and money is something I think we can all agree on.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have been inspecting and repairing foundations in Bryan, College Station, and the surrounding Brazos Valley communities like Brenham and Navasota for 35+ years. We can explain the top signs of foundation issues and help you know when an inspection is likely a good idea.
This article will outline the top foundation problem signs that let you know your slab foundation might need repair. In other words, we will explain when getting a foundation inspection is a good idea so that you can take the first step in getting your slab fixed.
How To Tell If You Have a Foundation Problem
Certain signs and symptoms appear when you have a foundation problem. The best ways to tell if you have a foundation settlement issue can be seen and observed visually AND typically appear on vertical surfaces on the inside and outside of your home. You don’t need fancy measurement tools like Zip Levels to identify foundation problems either, just your eyeballs.
True Signs of Foundation Issues
It’s kinda funny that a problem with a major horizontal surface in your home shows itself in the vertical surfaces, but that’s the way it happens. The following signs are the top indicators of foundation issues:
- Diagonal cracks on interior walls,
- Doors that drag, stick, swing, or won’t latch/lock properly,
- Finish trim and/or built-in fixtures like cabinets or shelves that separate from walls,
- For Brick Homes Only:
- Stair-step brick cracks,
- Brick frieze separation or gapping,
- Brick and window separations.
The first three listed signs can appear in any type of home, and brick homes have the *added benefit* of more visual cues to help you identify a foundation problem. Those signs listed above are the most typical. If you want more *whys and hows* behind those signs check out this: Do I Have a Foundation Problem? Top 5 Signs Repairs Are Needed.
False or Misleading Signs Homeowners Worry About
Homeowners often ask about other signs that make them think that they have a foundation problem. These things can often be seen in homes that do have a foundation issue, but they can also have other root causes that are not related to foundation settlement. We call these *false or misleading signs* because they don’t automatically point to a foundation problem if present on their own:
- Vertical or horizontal seam or tape joint separations
- Gapping at joints in ceiling drywall
- Vertical or angled hairline cracks on the exposed slab exterior
- Cracked tile floors or failing grout lines
You would need to see some of the other top signs listed in the *true signs* section to confirm a real foundation issue. But if you only have signs like these, then there’s a more likely explanation that does not have to do with a foundation problem.
For detailed explanations of why these are false signs, check this out: Do I Need Foundation Repair? 5 False Signs Not to Worry About.
Signs That a Foundation Inspection Is Needed
Let’s say you have identified a couple of true signs that don’t bother you very much. Maybe you’ve got a couple of cracks in your garage walls but that’s it. Maybe you have a few visual things going on, but they are all cosmetic and everything in your home still works right.
We use *functionality and feeling factors* (p.s. I love alliteration) to help homeowners gauge whether they need to pursue an inspection and get their foundation fixed.
Poor Functionality Will Guide You Towards Getting An Inspection
When things don’t work right in your home, it is not functional. For example, let’s say your foundation is settling and it has caused your front door to not open and close. It’s stuck! Well, that’s a major functionality issue. Or let’s say your window won’t open all the way because the window frame is out of square due to foundation movement.
Ya kinda wanna open your windows and doors sometimes, don’t ya?
When something doesn’t work as it should in your home, this is a sign to move forward with an inspection to get your foundation repaired. Here are a few other examples of functionality issues:
- Your exterior brick is cracking and the gap is large enough to let in pests or water.
- Your interior doors don’t close because the edge of the door gets briefly stuck and you have to yank it open with force.
- A door is rubbing the finish off of your flooring because it is making contact with the floor every time you open and close.
- A piece of trim on the front of your house keeps popping off and exposing unsightly areas that are meant to be covered.
- Your built-in shelf is coming away from the wall and you stop putting books on it.
- Your granite countertop is separating from the backsplash and there is an exposed wall that gets wet when you use your kitchen or bathroom sink.
These things are not functional and your home isn’t working right to keep you safe, dry, warm, pest-free, and proud of your home. Poor functionality alone is often enough to move forward with the foundation repair process by getting that inspection.
Your Feelings Will Guide You Towards Getting An Inspection
I know that *using your feelings to guide you* sounds really dippy but it’s true; your feelings matter. Some folks are not bothered by a couple of cracks or cosmetic things that don’t affect their everyday life. Some people just think that ghosting or swinging door is charming.
Others are sensitive to visual flaws and those small or larger functional issues. If the signs and symptoms of foundation issues really bother you and affect your sanity, then it’s time for foundation repairs. When your home causes anguish, embarrassment, anxiety, and frustration, that’s when you need to go ahead and take that first step to get an inspection.
Fixing Foundation Problems Starts With a Foundation Inspection
The first step in getting your foundation issues handled is the foundation inspection process. A foundation inspection includes assessing your home to confirm the problem and giving you a price for the repairs.
Some companies will do a bare-bones inspection and quickly give you a price with a 15-minute visit, while other companies will take more time with homeowners and offer a problem-solving approach.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we seek to understand both the problems you are having and your top needs for the repair so that we can address your foundation concerns while keeping you in mind. It’s not just about *fixing a thing* for Anchor. It’s about making sure you feel confident and comfortable with the repair decisions you choose for your home.
So our thing is *caring for people* while we take care of your home too.
Whether you choose Team Anchor or another company, it all starts with getting a quote for your foundation repairs by way of a foundation inspection. Want more detail on what actually happens at a typical foundation inspection? Of course, you do! Check it out here with this article: What Happens at a Home Foundation Inspection? 3 Common Steps.