Sometimes when you walk in your living room or bedroom, you can begin to notice a sinking feeling, as though the ground is lower than it appears. Other times, it could be a cracked tile or doors sticking in their frames. These are all signs of a cracked foundation, and it is more common in areas with clay-rich soils or in other semi-arid regions.
How to identify cracked foundations
Home foundations can naturally settle, especially when a rainy spring is followed by a dry summer. The contraction and expansion of the earth underneath the foundation can cause some form of movement. To find out if the foundation is cracked, you can look out for the following signs:
- Step-step cracks can appear on the sides of bricks and masonry. This is a major sign that there is a structural issue from the base of the house, and it might just be the foundation that needs to be checked.
- The upper part of the window and door frames can show cracks that usually run at an angle. This is another structural issue, and it shows that the drywalls are getting separated.
- Cracks in your tiles can also be a signal showing some foundational issues. You can determine this by assessing one side of the crack; if it appears to have a straight edge, there might be nothing to worry about. However, if the side of the crack seems to be sloping, this is most likely a foundational problem.
How to deal with cracked foundations
Cracked foundations often are as a result of the soil underneath the house becoming too dry or too wet. If the soil is too dry, you can direct a water-source to it, wetting the soil as often as you can. This can be through some soaker hoses or every time you are wetting the lawn.
In the case of wetness, all you have to do is divert the water source from the soil underneath the house. You can do this by creating a slope towards the curb or planting trees around the house.
If none of these methods work, then you can hire a professional to inspect the foundation. It is best to confirm the issue as well as the quotations from two or more structural engineers. This will help you to have a particular budget in mind.
How to sell a house with a foundational problem
It might be difficult to list a house with a foundation problem, even after repairing it. Most home sellers will not even want to spend their money trying to repair the foundation. If this is the case, it is best to inform the interested buyer or agent of the problem. This way, the buyer can accept the foundation “as is” and take the necessary precautions.
This might reduce the house’s value, but it is better than not informing the interested buyers. Once the buyer gets the house and finds out the problem, he or she might file a legal case against the seller, and it might eventually cause the seller to spend more money than anticipated.