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What are the Signs of Foundation Failure?

When a home with a basement is being built, the basement is dug out and concrete is poured to shape the walls and the floor. This is your foundation. Even though many of us appreciate homes with basements, there are extra maintenance factors to consider, especially since basements are prone to leaking. Knowing the signs and symptoms of foundation failure is important for all basement homeowners. These signs can be seen on both the interior and exterior of the home, but the problem is that they can be subtle or attributed to other factors.


Foundation failure generally comes in the form of cracks. They appear around doors and windows as well as the foundation wall, and they get larger over time. Foundation cracks often have a staircase pattern while other minor cracks are isolated. Sometimes, you can follow the cracks all the way down the wall and to the bottom of the foundation where it meets with the basement slab.


In addition to cracks around window frames, door frames and foundation walls, there are other telltale signs of foundation failure to keep an eye out for. Take a look around the home and identify drywall cracking, wrinkled wallpaper or gaps in the ceiling trim. Doors and windows that are not aligned with their openings may also be signs of foundation failure. Your basement may give you some of the best clues, so pay attention to sloped floors, cracks in the slab, bowing basement walls and leaks.


There are many reasons why foundation failure occurs, including poor drainage or the settling of the structure. You may contact a foundation repair company that can provide additional reinforcement for your basement, but this is only necessary if your basement is prone to failing. Your best option is to find out what is causing the failure in the first place, such as poor drainage or poor soil quality. If it’s poor drainage, for instance, you can work with a basement waterproofing company to repair the cracks and fix the leak, thus stopping the cycle of foundation failure.


Bottom line: Foundation failure is very serious and can damage the integrity of the home. If you notice signs of foundation failure such as cracks around the walls, doors and windows, you can’t wait. These problems rarely get better on their own, and they can develop into much more costly, invasive procedures.

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