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What Are Signs of Needed House Leveling?

June 11, 2020

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House leveling refers to returning or restoring a house to a level and even position, original to when the house was constructed. House leveling, slab jacking, and other foundation repair services allow for structural damage repairs while protecting a home from future damage.

Common signs of needed house leveling include:

  1. Stuck cabinets drawers, windows, and interior doors
  2. Sloping or warped floors
  3. Cracks along interior floors, walls, and ceilings
  4. Leaning or cracked chimney stacks
  5. Interior and cabinet doors that swing open or don’t close completely
  6. Severely cracked plaster walls or ceilings

While interior wall and ceiling cracks and other signs of needed house leveling might be the result of water damage and other such causes, it’s vital that homeowners schedule house leveling services as soon as needed. Neglecting this service allows that damage to get worse over time while also increasing the risk of interior water leaks and resultant mold growth, electrical systems damage, and a collapsed chimney.

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To ensure you’re maintaining your home properly and doing everything possible to keep it in good repair, note a few more vital details about signs of needed foundation leveling. You might also consider some information about what causes foundation damage, standard foundation repair options, and some tips for keeping a foundation strong and stable over the years! Discuss your concerns with a foundation repair contractor near you as needed, so you know your home stays in good repair for as long as you own it.

Signs of Needed House Leveling and Other Foundation Repairs

Some homeowners might overlook signs of needed house leveling, assuming that stuck windows are simply old and need sanding or other adjustment, or that wall and ceiling cracks are simply normal over time. Before you simply patch up interior drywall cracks or adjust doorjambs, note some added details regarding signs of foundation damage and why house leveling and other such repairs are so vital.

  • Doors and windows need level frames so they fit properly and stay in place! When a house settles and shifts, it pulls those frames along with it so they become lopsided and crooked. In turn, windows and doors might stick in their frames or fail to close securely.
  • Uneven frames also result in interior and cabinet doors being pulled in one direction or another so that they might move on their own, either swinging closed or falling open.
  • Homes often settle along one side; as they do, floors tend to slope or lean in that direction. You might notice a child’s toy sliding across the floor or have “wobbly” furniture, with one or more legs not quite reaching the floor.
  • In severe cases, floors might crack or buckle. Carpets and area rugs might also tend to stretch, becoming threadbare or worn along their seams, or bunch up in certain areas.
  • As homes settle along one side or area, this puts pressure on walls and ceilings. This pressure often creates cracks along drywall and plaster, or you might notice gaps between two walls or a wall and ceiling, or along your home’s crown molding or baseboards.
  • A settling home also puts pressure on chimney stacks and exterior brick walls. If you notice a sloped or leaning chimney or cracks along the mortar between bricks, this might indicate needed foundation repairs.
  • Hairline cracks along a home’s exposed foundation walls are normal and not necessarily a sign of needed foundation repairs. However, cracks longer than a few inches or those deep enough to hold a coin need patching and repairs!
  • Damaged foundations allow water and moisture into a home, leading to a damp, musty feeling in the basement. You might also notice condensation collecting on basement walls and floors or even standing water in your home’s basement!

What Causes Foundation Damage?

Avoiding foundation is obviously a much better option than paying for needed house leveling, slab jacking, and other such repairs! Understanding common foundation damage causes is the best way to ensure your home and property are always in good condition and structurally sound, so you avoid foundation cracks and chips as well as house settling.

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  • Plumbing leaks are a common cause of foundation damage. Even small leaks allow for a concrete foundation to absorb enough moisture to suffer eventual cracks, chips, and other such damage. Moisture also softens concrete so that it no longer supports a home’s weight, allowing it to settle and shift.
  • Poor drainage also means excess moisture around a home’s foundation, which then leads to weakening and other damage. Soil erosion and excessively dry conditions also create soil too dry to support a home’s foundation so it then settles or cracks.
  • Shifting soil conditions also put pressure on a home’s foundation; for example, your neighbor’s property might have poor drainage so the soil becomes overly moist and suffers small sinkholes. In turn, your property’s soil begins to crumble and shift, becoming too weak to support your home.
  • Tree roots wrapped around a home’s foundation put pressure on that concrete, causing it to crack and split. Those tree roots might also wrap around exterior plumbing pipes, leading to leaks and excess moisture on the property.

What Is House Leveling and Other Foundation Repair Options?

Your contractor will note the best option for your home but it’s still good to familiarize yourself with various foundation repair methods. You can then make the right decision according to the extent of damage to your home’s foundation, your budget, and other such factors.

House leveling options depend on your home’s foundation construction. For concrete slab foundation repairs, a contractor might suggest slab jacking or mud jacking. This process injects new concrete or a concrete slurry into damaged area or open pockets along that foundation. This new slurry or concrete injection “pushes up” or levels the home while providing added support for its foundation.

Pier and beam foundation repairs involve the insertion of new piers, which resemble large screws. These are inserted into the foundation which then also levels the home and provides added support and bracing. Crawlspace repairs might mean adding new concrete beams or pilings under the existing piers.

house leveling san antonio

In many cases, a foundation repair company might also inject certain chemicals or mixtures into the soil around the home’s foundation or under its crawlspace. These mixtures add stability and strength to the soil or balance its composition, perhaps adding moisture to dry soil or drying out overly moist soil. Proper soil conditions help prevent future foundation damage and ensure a home is level, even, and structurally stable.

How to Keep Your Home’s Foundation in Good Repair

A homeowner is not left without options when it comes to foundation maintenance and upkeep! How you maintain your property and home itself can contribute to a strong, stable foundation in good condition, and that lasts for years before it needs repairs.

One vital tip is ensuring the soil quality of your property. If your lawn and landscaping features tend to wilt, this might indicate soil problems. Retaining walls and appropriate grading both keep out excess moisture or hold moisture in the soil, for better soil health.

You might not associate your home’s gutters with a strong foundation in good repair but gutters capture rainwater and melting snow, directing that moisture to nearby downspouts and away from the home’s foundation. Clogged gutters allow water to wash over their sides and then pool around the foundation, which then absorbs that moisture, suffering cracks and other such damage. Have your gutters cleaned professionally every year or as often as needed to keep them clean and clog-free!

Foundation waterproofing also keeps out excess moisture and protects that concrete from damage. Invest in high-quality expert foundation waterproofing rather than cheap paints and coatings you buy from the hardware store, to ensure maximum effectiveness. Regular foundation inspections also allow you to schedule repairs as soon as possible, so small cracks and chips don’t become major foundation damage over time!

Related Questions

Can you buy a home with foundation damage?

Rarely are there laws against buying a structure with foundation damage, and a home inspection should note the extent of damage to any home’s foundation, electrical systems, and the like. However, that inspection but won’t tell you expected repair costs! To decide if you should buy a structure with foundation damage, discuss repair options and potential costs with your real estate agent and a foundation repair company near you.

Can you level a house yourself?

For thorough repairs that last, it’s best to rely on a foundation repair company near you rather than store-bought foundation crack sealant and other such options. Severe damage might also require pier, beam, and slurry insertion along areas difficult to access with household or rented tools and equipment.

Will house leveling repair interior surface cracks?

House leveling will return a home to its original, level position and, in turn, typically close up gaps along interior ceilings, walls, and floors. However, it’s still vital that you patch or otherwise repair those cracks and chips, as this will provide strength to your structure and keep out excess moisture as well as bothersome pests!

 

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