Have you been experiencing the dreadful door jamming more than usual? Or perhaps, the door simply refuses to latch onto its foundation? Be wary! That is never a good sign and could indicate a larger issue such as foundation damage in your home. The majority of the homeowners are surprised to find out that structural damage is a lot more common, even in newer homes, than they believe it to be.  

If this major red flag of common foundation damage is not enough of a warning sign for you, then look for cracks that appear in walls, especially over windows, doorways, and near the ceilings. If you have got a few of these here and there around your house, the chances are that you need to prepare your wallet to bear the expenses of foundation damage repairs and maintenance. Detecting the early warning signs of foundation troubles can head off future problems that may ultimately cost you tens of thousands of dollars to repair.

The Real Reason Behind Foundation Damage

So, what causes foundation damage in the first place? Like all things in life, the structural foundation of your estate is subject to environmental stress. This can be observed in the form of contracting and expanding soil, excessive moisture trapped in the walls, slabs, and floorboards, and inefficient drainage systems that clog basements and gutters. Moreover, natural phenomena such as extremely strong earthquakes and tornados are prone to causing a lot of destruction right to the core of your estates’ groundwork.

All these factors that play a role in base damage can result in an unstable foundation, ultimately compromising the structural integrity of your beloved home. Hence, you need to ensure that you identify early signs of foundation issues and take efficient steps to ensure easy repair and maintenance.

Early Signs Of Structural Damage

While not all signs tend to appear together and with the same intensity, it is safe to say that some early signs act as a foolproof way of diagnosing your structure with some future damage.

Here are the top 5 early signs of common foundation damage:

  1. Cracks in plaster walls, doorways, and ceilings.
  2. Jamming/sticky doors and windows.
  3. Sagging floors often expanded and cracked.
  4. Stagnant water, especially pooling near slab foundations.
  5. Strange smells from the basement and the corners of the house.

If you notice a few or even all of these early signs in your spaces, do not panic. Start by learning how to properly identify the various common foundation damage problems before you covet to take a step. To help you out, here is a brief guide to identifying common foundation or structural damage to your home.

Wall Cracks

While small, vertical cracks in the walls or on the floor may be nothing to worry about, however, large cracks with a horizontal or zig-zag pattern could be a sign that your home foundation is under a lot of pressure and going through more than normal amounts of settling. As mentioned at Oriole foundation repairs in Baltimore, you must never try to overlook a foundation crack in your walls as it may become worse over time if no timely repairs are made. Call in a professional straight away to keep a small concern from becoming a bigger headache.

Musty Smell In Your Basement

There is no place more ideal for bugs and mold growth than a wet, leaking, or moist basement. Mildew occurs due to moisture that gets in through tiny cracks in the foundation. Unfortunately, this likely means foundation problems. Therefore, if you have experienced musty or unpleasant smells coming from underneath the floorboard, it is certainly time to check out the nooks and crannies of your basement.

Gaps Between Facade and Windows

If you observe gaps between your façade and your front door or windows, it could be a telltale sign that a shifting foundation is pulling them apart. Not only can these gaps allow water to seep through into the walls of your home, causing damage to your walls, but lead to chances of infestation by pests, causing further damage to your structure in the long run.

Sticking Doors That Do Not Latch Properly

If you notice that your doors are sticking and do not open or close properly, that is usually an indication there is some problem with the foundation. A moving, unstable foundation distorts the shape of the frames, which makes them unable to latch and eventually jam entirely.

Saggy Floors And Bowed Walls

Warped flooring is the majority of the time, directly related to foundational issues, especially ones that can go on for years to come, making it imperative to keep a strict eye on the humidity, shifting soil, and stagnant water in your home. Similarly, bowed walls are no better. Anything out of the usual should concern you at the very least and renders it crucial to get an inspection as soon as possible.

A Leaning Chimney

A tilted chimney movement is another telltale sign of foundation problems. When your foundation starts to shift due to weather changes and other environmental factors, your chimney might begin to lean or tilt inward or outward away from your home. Look for any cracks or gaps between the chimney and the siding, as they could cause water and insects to enter your home, causing more damage. A tilting chimney puts tremendous pressure on your home’s foundation and could pose a serious threat to your family and your property if it collapses, as it is the heaviest part of your home.

Undeniably, your home is one of the most significant investments you could ever make in your lifetime. Recognizing that helps you take avid steps to preserve it from any damage. When it is about foundation problems, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Due to the intricacy of foundation damage, many problems may quite often develop without any early signs and warnings. In such cases, the structural issues may have occurred long before the base started having issues. With that said, you must always be on the lookout for some common foundation issues before they aggravate. Identifying these when they are at a nascent stage can put your mind at ease to prevent you from shelling out thousands of dollars in foundation repairs.

Join the Conversation


  1. Thank you for mentioning how an early sign of foundation damage is cracking in your walls. My grandparents found a crack in one of the walls in their basement the other day. I will suggest that they hire a professional foundation repair service to fix the damage before it gets worse.

  2. I own a foundation repair company in Macon Ga and this is a great article. I would like to reference this article in the future to educate my area about signs of foundation damage. One thing that is very interesting about Georgia is that the humidity is another cause of foundation issues. Summer months are very dry and humid and causes moisture to leave the soil and causes it to shift and erode the soil.

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