Do you have an issue with things not quite looking correct in or outside of your home? Maybe you want to know what to look for concerning future problems with your Houston home. You might even fit into the category of looking to buying a house in the Houston area, and you want to make sure you know that you are not getting into something that will end up costing you way more than what you have planned, thus devastating your dream. No matter what category you fall under it is always a good thing to know what to look out for concerning problems that could occur with a Houston home’s foundation.
When investing in owning a home in the greater Houston area, it is essential to do all you can to make sure that it is as secure and safe as possible, as it is one of the most expensive purchases that you the consumer will make. It is imperative to take your time to look over the interior and exterior of the home on a regular basis, to be able to detect any foundation problems early.
Warning Sign Areas
There are two different areas that you will need to look over when investigating for any damage to a home's foundation. There can be signs on the inside of the home, the outside, or both.
First note that every foundation settles over time and will show a little bit of that change in your house’s structure, but it is when you start to notice that the issues are more pronounced than usual is when there might be a more significant problem. Settlement cracks are mostly vertical, whereas when you see lateral ones, it is likely you have a foundation issue.
Common Signs of foundation issues
Interior Structure Signs
Misaligned windows and doors - Are you having a problem getting the doors or windows to open due to being stuck or will they not stay shut? Are there gaps around windows or doors where there shouldn't be? Do you see the outside from the inside where you are not supposed to?
Cracks in the floor - Do you see any visible cracks in your floor? The cracks might be harder to see due to carpeting, and you will have to pull back the carpeting a little, but you should be able to visualize with tiled and laminate flooring areas easily.
Uneven floors - When you walk across a room or try to make sure that your furniture or what is on the furniture is even, do you see or feel tilting, dipping or bulging of the floor?
Cracked sheetrock - Do you see any noticeable cracks on your ceilings or walls that should not be there?
Dislocated moldings – Are the moldings on the walls bulging or misaligned?
Countertops and Cabinets pulling away from the wall – Can you see the separation of kitchen or bathroom counters or cabinets from the wall?
Exterior Structure Signs
Separation around the garage door, walls or windows – Do you see any gaps on the outside of your garage door, walls or windows?
Cracked bricks/blocks – Do you see any structural differences to the outside bricks or blocks of the home that are medium to a large size? Are there any noticeable differences to your siding?
Wall rotation – This is when the wall turns out from where it should be and can be affecting the interior walls of the house as well. The wall turns and can lead to a collapse.
Broken or cracked foundation – Do you see the foundation splitting, cracking or crumbling on the sides?
If you have a horizontal crack in your wall or foundation that is even ¼” wide, it can be an indication of a problem with the settling foundation. When inspecting your house for any uneven or horizontal cracks - if there are any at a 45-degree angle, you need to make sure that you get the home foundation checked out as quickly as possible. Modest fractures can range anywhere from 2” – 6” in length and fractures that are above 6” are severe from the amount of pressure put on it.
Make sure if you start to see any foundation issues to get an expert opinion and an evaluation of the foundation quickly and don't wait until it the damage is severe which will result in a higher cost to fix.