Living in Cincinnati, you know how disastrous it can be if your basement is not properly waterproofed. It can lead to water seeping in, and if this happens, you’ll need basement foundation repair. The foundation of your home is what keeps your home sturdy and safe for you and your family. If it gets damaged, it can lead to mold and mildew, a wet basement, uneven floors, and much more.
Water is one of the biggest culprits in most foundation issues, along with soil that expands and contracts, such as clay. Compressible soil doesn’t settle like other types, and it can cause shifting and sinking causing cracks in the basement walls or floor. If you have noticed the shifting of your home, you should call a basement foundation repair professional.
Proper maintenance isn’t always enough to prevent basement damage to your home. However, it does help you spot the signs before they become too extensive. Here are seven red flags that may indicate your home needs foundation repair. For further information, visit cincinnatifoundationrepairandwaterproofing.com.
1. Uneven or Bouncing Floors
If you’ve noticed floors that have started bouncing, dipping, or pushing up, it may be a sign of foundation issues. If your floor is pushing up, that signals that the foundation is level and possibly pushing upward. When they start sagging, then there isn’t enough support under them. When foundation issues impact the structure, it causes floors to sag, squeak, and bounce. Not only are uneven floors unsightly they can also pose tripping hazards if you have small children. If your floors sag more than an inch every 15-20, you need to call a basement foundation repair professional.
2. Visible Cracks
Cracks either inside or outside are often the first sign that you have an issue. However, it’s important to know the difference between the ones that are signs of a foundation issue and the ones that aren’t a big deal.
Vertical and hairline cracks
A few vertical cracks are normal and don’t pose a structural threat. In Cincinnati, these are the most common cracks found in a basement. Hairline cracks are most common in newly constructed foundations. You’ll start noticing them within the first year and are caused by the settling and drying of the concrete.
Horizontal and stair-step cracks
Horizontal cracks in your basement foundation are serious. These are typically caused by water pressing against your foundation for a prolonged period of time. After a while, you may start noticing that one of your basement walls is bowing inwards, and water is leaking into it. Both block and poured concrete are susceptible to this type of crack.
Block foundations are more susceptible to stair-step cracks. These occur at mortar joints and pose a severe threat to the integrity of your foundation. Foundation settlement or sinking in one area or moisture-related problems outside your foundation are the two most common causes of this type of crack.
In Cincinnati, horizontal cracks are common because of the frequent freezing and thawing cycles. If you notice either of these crack types, call a basement foundation repair foundation as soon as possible.
Like verticle cracks, most vertical cracks are harmless to your basement’s structural integrity. They are generally caused by the natural curing of the concrete wall or settlement over time. However, if you see a diagonal crack take a picture of it or make a mark on the wall and date it so you can watch it to make sure it doesn’t get larger.
3. Foundation Sinking
Over time you may notice that one side of your house is lower than the other. This is a sign that you probably have issues, and you need to call a basement foundation repair company. If it turns out you do, then you may need to have your basement floor lifted. They do this by installing foundation piers. The piers are placed around the outside of your foundation to raise it. This would be a good time to have your basement waterproofed since you already have workers there. Having your basement waterproofed will prevent further issues at a later date.
4. Sticking Doors or Windows
Doors or windows that are hard to open or shut are signs that your house may indicate that you have a problem with your foundation. Exterior doors usually drag at the bottom while interior ones stick or drag at the top. You’ll notice that opening and closing windows are difficult and may not open at all. A professional can evaluate your foundation and let you know if there are issues, and give you an estimate of the cost to repair it.
5. Standing Water Outside the Home
Standing water outside of the house may indicate a drainage issue. When a house has the proper grade, there shouldn’t be standing water close to the house. A yard should have a minimum 2 percent grade that leads away from home. If the water is next to it, it causes the soil to expand, putting pressure on the basement wall. If you notice that water is pooling, it’s time to call a basement foundation repair company.
6. Dampness in the Basement
Moisture in your basement can signify you either have foundation problems, or they’re going to start soon. Keep in mind that moisture that attracts termites can encourage the growth of mold and mildew. In Cincinnati, it frequently rains, especially in the spring and summer. Hence, it’s a good idea to have a basement foundation repair company come and waterproof your basement for an added layer of protection.
7. Counters and Cabinets Separating From The Wall
If you have noticed that your kitchen cabinets or countertops have started tilting or pulling away from the wall, it’s a sure sign of foundation damage. When walls aren’t level, cabinets and other things in your house stop being level. Maybe you’ve noticed that there are other things in your house pulling away from the walls such as the molding.
What Do You Do If You See These Signs?
If you observe any of these is happening it needs to be investigated by a professional. The first thing you need to do is contact a basement foundation repair company located in Cincinnati to have them inspect your home. The good news is that many times home owners find out everything is fine.