Railroad Tie Retaining Wall – Repair or Replace

Sep 20, 2023 | Wall Stabilization

 Warning Signs of Foundation Problems in Homes and Commercial Structures

As a professional foundation repair expert with over 30 years of experience, I’ve encountered a wide range of foundation issues in both residential and commercial structures. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll delve deeper into the five critical warning signs of foundation problems, providing more detailed insights and solutions tailored to both homes and commercial buildings. If you suspect your property may be experiencing foundation issues, don’t hesitate to contact the knowledgeable team at Charlotte Crawlspace Solutions for a thorough assessment and personalized solutions.

Cracks in Walls and Foundations

Drywall crack - Fascia crack - Piedmont Foundation Repair - 704.401.4111

One of the most common and visible signs of foundation problems is the appearance of cracks in interior and exterior walls, as well as in the foundation itself. While some minor hairline cracks may be attributed to normal settling, larger, growing, or recurring cracks should be cause for concern.

Residential: In homes, cracks may appear in drywall, plaster, or brick walls. They can be vertical, horizontal, or stair-step in nature. Diagonal cracks extending from corners of windows or doors are particularly indicative of foundation movement.

Commercial: In commercial structures, cracks may be visible in concrete walls, masonry, or even in floor slabs. Look for cracks that are wider at one end, as this may signify differential settlement.

Problem:

Cracks can indicate that the foundation is shifting, settling, or experiencing excessive pressure from surrounding soil.

Causes:

Foundation movement often stems from changes in soil moisture content, poor drainage, soil erosion, or expansive soil conditions.

Solutions:

a. Install interior or exterior piers, such as steel push piers or helical piers, to stabilize the foundation and prevent further movement.

b. Improve drainage around the foundation by grading the soil, installing gutters and downspouts, and using French drains, dry wells, or surface drainage systems.

c. For commercial structures, consider polyurethane or epoxy injections to seal cracks and prevent water infiltration. 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Problem:

Cracks can indicate that the foundation is shifting, settling, or experiencing excessive pressure from surrounding soil.

Causes:

Foundation movement often stems from changes in soil moisture content, poor drainage, soil erosion, or expansive soil conditions.

Solutions:

a. Install interior or exterior piers, such as steel push piers or helical piers, to stabilize the foundation and prevent further movement.

b. Improve drainage around the foundation by grading the soil, installing gutters and downspouts, and using French drains, dry wells, or surface drainage systems.

c. For commercial structures, consider polyurethane or epoxy injections to seal cracks and prevent water infiltration.

The experts at Charlotte Crawlspace Solutions can assess the severity of the cracks and recommend the most effective solutions for your specific situation.

 

 Uneven – Sagging – Sloping Floors

Sagging . Unlevel Floor. Piedmont Foundation Repair . 704.40.4111

If you’ve noticed that your floors are sloping, sagging, or feel bouncy when walking, it could be a sign of a serious foundation problem.

Residential: In homes, uneven floors may be more noticeable in older properties or those with hardwood or tile flooring. Sloping floors can cause furniture to sit unevenly or doors to swing open or closed on their own.

Commercial: In commercial buildings, uneven floors can create tripping hazards and may be more pronounced in areas with heavy foot traffic or equipment. Sloping floors in warehouses can cause storage racks to lean or become unstable.

Problem:

Uneven floors can indicate that the foundation is settling or shifting unevenly, which can compromise the structural integrity of the building.

Causes:

This issue can be caused by soil settlement, foundation deterioration, poor compaction during construction, or structural problems like failing support beams, joists, or columns.

Solutions:

a. Use hydraulic jacks or steel piers to lift and level the foundation, restoring even support to the structure.

b. Reinforce or replace damaged structural components, such as floor joists, support beams, or load-bearing walls.

c. For commercial buildings, consider installing a steel reinforcement system or utilizing pressure grouting to fill voids and stabilize the soil beneath the foundation.

Don’t wait until the problem worsens – contact Charlotte Crawlspace Solutions for a professional assessment and a customized repair plan.

Sticking Doors and Windows

Sticking Door - Sticking Window - Piedmont Foundation Repair - 704.401.4111

When doors and windows become difficult to open and close, or start to show gaps at the top or bottom, it may be a sign of foundation issues.

Residential: In homes, sticking doors and windows can be frustrating and may be mistaken for simple humidity-related issues. However, if multiple doors and windows are affected, or if the problem persists across different seasons, it’s likely due to foundation movement.

Commercial: In commercial buildings, sticking doors and windows can interfere with daily operations and may violate fire codes or accessibility requirements. Gaps around frames can also allow drafts, moisture, or pests to enter the building.

Problem:

Sticking doors and windows can indicate that the foundation is no longer level, causing the frames to shift and become misaligned.

Causes:

Foundation settlement or movement can be caused by changes in soil conditions, such as moisture content, erosion, or poor drainage.

Solutions:

a. Stabilize the foundation using underpinning techniques, such as installing steel piers, helical piers, or bracket piers, to lift and support the structure.

b. Implement measures to control soil moisture, such as proper grading, drainage, and landscaping around the foundation.

c. For commercial properties, consider installing a moisture barrier or waterproofing system to protect the foundation from water damage.

The team at Charlotte Crawlspace Solutions has the expertise to diagnose the root cause of sticking doors and windows and provide effective, long-lasting solutions.

Gaps Between Walls and Floors or Ceilings

Floor gaps and ceiling gaps

If you notice gaps appearing between your walls and floors, or between the walls and ceiling, it may be a sign of a shifting foundation.

Residential: In homes, gaps may be visible between baseboards and floors, or crown molding and ceilings. Wallpaper or paint may also start to crack or peel in these areas.

Commercial: In commercial structures, gaps can appear between walls and floor slabs, or between partition walls and drop ceilings. These gaps can be unsightly and may allow noise, odors, or pests to travel between rooms or units.

Problem:

Gaps between walls and floors or ceilings indicate that the foundation is moving, causing the structure to pull apart.

Causes:

This can be caused by soil settlement, foundation deterioration, changes in soil moisture content, or poor construction practices.

Solutions:

a. Install steel brackets or anchors to secure the walls to the foundation and prevent further separation.

b. Address underlying soil issues by improving drainage, stabilizing the soil, or installing a moisture barrier around the foundation.

c. For commercial buildings, consider using polyurethane foam or caulking to fill gaps and prevent air, noise, or pest infiltration.

For peace of mind and a lasting solution, reach out to the professionals at Charlotte Crawlspace Solutions.  

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Exterior Cracks

Step crack and horizontal crack in foundation - Piedmont Foundation Repair - 704.401.4111

Other Signs Cracks and other issues in your home or building’s exterior can be a sign of structural problems related to the foundation.

Residential: In homes, look for cracks in the brick, stucco, or siding, especially near windows, doors, or corners. Chimneys may lean or pull away from the house, and fascia boards or roof lines may appear uneven.

Commercial: In commercial structures, look for cracks in the masonry, concrete, or exterior cladding. Stair-step cracks in brick walls or bulging walls can indicate foundation movement. Doors or windows may not fit squarely in their frames.

Problem:

Exterior cracks and issues can indicate that the foundation is under stress or experiencing differential settlement.

Causes:

This can be caused by soil movement, tree roots, poor construction, water damage, or even seismic activity.

Solutions:

a. Repair and seal foundation cracks to prevent water infiltration and further damage. Use flexible sealants or epoxy injections for a durable fix.

b. Use underpinning methods, such as push piers, helical piers, or micro piles, to stabilize and lift the foundation, ensuring even support for the structure.

c. For commercial properties, consider carbon fiber reinforcement or wall anchors to stabilize bowing or leaning walls.

Don’t let exterior cracks and signs of foundation problems compromise your property’s integrity – call Charlotte Crawlspace Solutions for a professional evaluation and targeted solutions.

Best Foundation Repair Advice

Early detection and addressing foundation problems is crucial to minimizing damage, preserving property value, and ensuring the safety of occupants. If you notice any of these warning signs in your home or commercial building, it’s essential to have the foundation inspected by a qualified professional. The expert team at Charlotte Crawlspace Solutions can assess the severity of the problem, identify the underlying causes, and recommend appropriate solutions to restore your property’s structural integrity.

Don’t wait until minor issues become major headaches – contact Charlotte Crawlspace Solutions today to schedule a comprehensive foundation assessment. Our experienced professionals will work with you to develop a customized repair plan that addresses your specific needs and budget. Take the first step towards protecting your property’s safety, value, and longevity by trusting the foundation experts at Charlotte Crawlspace Solutions.

call us

Use this form to submit any questions you may have …

9 + 7 =