How to Know When Your House Needs Leveling
There are a few signs that your house could be showing that means you could have a few different leveling issues - and most of them are the signs that indicate foundation issues! A house that needs leveling is a house whose foundation has shifted, leaving the house sloped and uneven. Most of the indicators are those that homeowners are forewarned to look for - cracks in the walls, doors that won't close, and plumbing issues that result in slow drainage. These are, however, only some of the indicators, so Allied Foundation has put together this list on when to know when your home needs leveling so that you can get the help you need when you need it!
Causes of Foundation Settling
There are a few reasons why your house may have settled poorly and led to foundation issues. Sometimes, it is just because a house has settled naturally, and is now uneven. However, sometimes, it is due to other things as well. One example is that the soil underneath the foundation was not properly backfilled. This can cause the soil to shift and settle in other places, which means that the foundation can settle at different, uneven levels. Another cause is expansive soils. Expansive soils are those that expand and shrink with different weather conditions, much like that of the soil that is popular in Houston and its surrounding cities. These soils, which are common in our area, will absorb water and expand, or shrink when a dry period hits. This constant growing and shrinking can cause a foundation to become unsettled. Tree roots are also a large risk to a foundation, due to the fact that they can absorb the water from around the house and cause the foundational soil to become overly dry and shift.
What To Look For
Gapes in Mortar Joints
Joints are the gaps that exist between bricks or concrete blocks. These are filled with mortar, and when the mortar starts to show gaps or cracks, this is a really good indicator that the foundation is settling unevenly.
Cracks in the interior or exterior
This is a really common sign of foundational issues that is easy to notice! These cracks will appear anywhere, not just within the foundation. Often they can appear in walls, especially if the walls are drywall or plaster, as well as around fireplace veneers, wood paneling, ceilings, and floors. If you see these, you will want to call someone to come inspect the foundation.
If you are not the first owner of the home, looking into the history of the home can give you a really good indication of whether or not your house is settling, or if there are other issues when it comes to the foundation. These may not be strictly foundational repairs - if there have been cracks that were patched or latch replacements, there may be a foundation issue that has not been addressed yet. An inspection of the foundation will give you the knowledge you need.
Stuck Windows and Doors
This is another sign of foundational issues that is incredibly common. These tend to develop over time and will show as doors get stuck, or won’t close, and the same applies to windows. Generally, this happens on one side, of the home showing that the house is not level.
If you notice things starting to roll, or a definitive slant to the flooring, one side of your foundation may be settling heavier than the other side.
Leaks or cracks in a chimney, just like cracks in the wall, indicate that the foundation is not settling how it is supposed to. This can present a danger, given the importance of the chimney operating at full capacity and keeping everyone safe.
It can be hard to keep track of all the possible ways that your foundation may be having issues, but being aware of the indicators means that you can find the problems before they get out of hand! Allied Foundation has a house leveling service that will determine whether or not it is what your home requires - and the best part is that it is free! Reach out to Allied Foundation today for your free estimate and get your foundation into the best shape of its life.