What are the Signs of a Sinking Foundation?

Signs of a sinking foundation

Your basement and foundation walls are crucial support structures for your home, providing a sturdy base. However, when these walls start to bow, crack, shift, or sink, it poses a significant risk to the property's structural integrity.

Ideally, the basement and foundation walls are engineered to withstand the weight of the structure above. Yet, factors such as excessive water, frost heave, aging, settling, pressure from tree roots, deterioration, and lateral ground movement can gradually exert stress on these walls over time. This accumulation of stress can lead to issues like bowing, cracking, sinking, shifting, or even collapse in the foundation or basement walls.

What Causes a Foundation to Shift or Sink?

Many factors can cause your home’s foundation to shift or sink. Before we look at the signs of a sinking foundation, let’s review the potential triggers.

  1. Soil Composition can affect your home’s foundation if it was not compacted correctly during construction. Additionally, different types of soil can cause foundation issues.
  2. Time or poor construction can influence the foundation of your property. Building regulations today are much different than 50 years ago and your property may not be up to code by today’s standards. Moreover, a poorly constructed foundation can wreak havoc on your property.
  3. Weather, specifically extreme fluctuations in temperature and moisture can impact your foundation negatively.
  4. Natural disasters like abnormally high winds or flooding, can cause your foundation to sink or shift.

Flooding - signs of sinking foundation

Signs of Foundation Shifting & Sinking

Foundation shifting and sinking are problems that are caused by various issues happening to the ground under your home. If you notice any of the following, it could be an indication that your foundation is shifting and sinking.

Visible Cracks on Interior Walls or Outside Structural Walls

Foundation cracking and bowing occur when various forces exert pressure on the structure, leading to an unstable foundation.

In cases where cracking and bowing are evident, homeowners should promptly take action to prevent further damage to the home's property and other supporting structures.

wall cracks - signs of sinking foundation

Nail Pops or Hairline Tears in the Walls or Ceilings

Nail pops or hairline tears in the walls or ceilings can also indicate a sinking foundation. These subtle yet noticeable signs often accompany other identifiers of foundation issues, such as uneven floors or wall cracks. Identifying and addressing these warning signs promptly can help prevent further deterioration of the foundation and mitigate potential structural damage to the home.

Windows or Doors that Stick or are Hard to Open or Close

Windows or doors that stick or are difficult to open or close can also be telltale signs of a sinking foundation. As the foundation settles unevenly, it can cause shifts in the structure's frame, resulting in misaligned windows and doors. Recognizing these signs early on is crucial as they indicate ongoing structural issues that may require intervention from a professional foundation repair company to prevent further harm and ensure the stability of the home.

Leaning Chimney

A leaning chimney is yet another indication of a sinking foundation. When the foundation settles unevenly, it can cause the chimney to tilt or lean away from the house. This structural imbalance compromises the chimney's integrity and poses potential safety hazards. Identifying a leaning chimney early on is essential for addressing underlying foundation issues and preventing further structural damage to the property.

chimney - signs of sinking foundation

Uneven Floors

Uneven floors are a clear indication of a shifting or sinking foundation. When the foundation settles unevenly, it can cause sections of the floor to slope or become noticeably unlevel. This unevenness can manifest as dips, slopes, or even gaps between floorboards. Quickly recognizing and fixing uneven floors is vital to prevent additional damage to your home's foundation and keep it safe and stable.

Contact Us

Advanced Basement Solutions takes pride in providing exceptional services to homeowners in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and nearby areas. We specialize in foundation repair and can inspect your foundation for any shifting or sinking issues. For more information about Advanced Basement Solutions and our sinking foundation repair services, please contact us today.