3 Ways That You Can Tell When Your House Needs Underpinning
The foundation of a house is the structure that determines how strong and stable the house will be. Several factors determine the strength of a foundation; these include the soil structure holding the foundation, type of foundation, and water content in the soil.
When one of the conditions that support a healthy foundation is interfered with, it starts to settle. If a homeowner does not recognise the early signs of foundation problems in time, the home suffers severe structural damage. These are the three main ways you can tell your foundation is weak and needs underpinning.
1. When the Building Leans on One Side
The function of your foundation is to hold all the walls in an upright position. However, if there are problems with the soil structure, the foundation could shift and settle on one side. The settling could pull or drag one of the walls downwards, and your structure ends up looking like it is leaning to one side.
If you realise that one of your outer walls seems a few inches shorter than it was a few years before, call in a foundation contractor. They will check for signs of foundation settling and recommend a remedy.
2. When the Doors and Windows Stop Locking Properly
A functional foundation should support the house and give all structures perfect alignment. It will also hold the doors, windows, and other openings in the original space and dimensions.
On the other hand, when the foundation starts to settle, the floors start shifting and sloping. The space left for the window or door when the house was designed may shrink or extend. The shifting creates complications when you try to lock doors and windows. This extent of damage can only be fixed by underpinning.
3. When Thick Cracks Appear on the Floor and Walls
Cracks are common in all new buildings. Small diagonal cracks are nothing to worry about because they usually indicate that the concrete is shrinking as it settles. However, vertical cracks that are wider than an eighth of an inch indicate a bigger problem with the foundation.
Similarly, horizontal cracks are a cause for alarm because they are caused by hydrostatic pressure. If not checked on time, they can lead to foundation failure.
The best way to handle foundation problems is to have a competent foundation contractor to check the damage and recommend the best underpinning method. Underpinning corrects the weakness in the foundation and saves your home from structural damage.
For more information, contact an underpinning service today.