Mother Nature can often times create serious problems for homeowners, especially where building foundations are at the mercy of weather related problems.
This article is meant to provide some helpful suggestions to homeowners about foundation problems,and what to do about them.

The signs of foundation problems are usually things like cracks showing up in walls and ceilings, sticking doors and windows, un-even or sagging floors, and obvious exterior visual signs such as twisted or un-even siding, cracks in brickwork,out-of-square garage doors, etc.

The important things to keep in mind are the following instructions that may be very helpful in providing solutions to the above mentioned problems.

DO: examine your home and identify possible problems that may be related to foundation movement, especially settling or sinking.

DO: Call professionals if you believe the situation to be severe,where the movement is greater than 2″ and apears to be getting worse each year.

DO: Look around the perimeter of your home for indications of down spout problems (water funneling back toward foundation), also notice any possible indications that groundwater may be flowing back toward foundation because of negative grade.

DO: Remove any plants or shrubs, small trees etc, from the near proximity of the foundation (within 8ft minimum) I know that alot of folks enjoy the beauty of plants close to the structure, but, unfortunately, this can be a common mistake if you live in a clay based soil environment. You may not experience problems with flower beds etc, if you have a very good grade, and have a reasonable sand and gravel based soil situation.

DO: make certain that any concrete walkways, driveways, etc, actually slope away from foundation, and not towards the foundation. If you notice slope toward foundation, you should have the problem corrected as soon as possible.

DO: Call professionals if you notice major cracks or bowing in your basement walls. Major cracks would be: 3/16 wide or larger, and bowing exceeding 1-1/2″ vertically in 7ft,, 2-1/2″ horizontally in 16 ft. (these are basic guidelines for modern foundations 10 years old or less).

By doing these things, you may be able to prevent further problems, and save a great deal of money. You can often times prevent problems by taking precautions and protecting your home.

DO NOT: Assume you will never have a problem because of newness of the construction, the area that you live, or the fact that the previous owner never mentioned any problems.. Sometimes homes that have been solid in their earth hold, may suddenly sink or shift because of a drought or other deep soil issue.

DO NOT: Accept first opinions from local contractors that may only have limited knowledge about soils, and geologic changes in your region. Find specialists that may be able to provide options and answers.

DO NOT: Allow the structure to settle further and further year after year. This can become a very serious problem and often times result in costing much much more than catching the problem early. If the frame of the home is twisting out-of-square, it is only a matter of time before the damage may become severe, and will be reflected in the massive decrease in re-sale value, and possibly even result in condemned status.

DO NOT: Panic if you notice problems and believe that it is going to be extreemly expensive. You may be surprised to find that often times the problems can be corrected at a very low cost compared to alternatives such as re-framing windows & doors, Replacing brickwork, etc. With the modern methods of
jacking and stabilizing, the home can often times be adjusted back to level and square frame condition, then the doors & windows may be operational once again, and the overall apearance of the structure can be restored.

There are several methods of foundation repair available and the
most important thing that homeowners, and building owners, need to know is this: Protecting your investment is the bottom line!