Foundation issues almost always worsen over time, so identifying damage as quickly as it begins forming can help you limit property damage and keep your repair costs down. Below, we’ll discuss a protocol you can follow to find foundation damage before it becomes severe.
Inspect Your Foundation Often
The best way to identify potentially dangerous changes in your foundation is to monitor the concrete. We recommend doing your own home inspection once every three to four months, beginning with your foundation.
Look at the concrete outside your home for cracks, crumbling, and signs of sinking. If you have a crawlspace or basement, continue inspecting the concrete for new or worsening damage inside. Check for cracks on the floor and walls, and keep a log of any gaps you find with the width and length noted for comparison during future inspections. Report any widening, lengthening, or potentially dangerous cracks to a foundation repair specialist right away.
Look out for mold growth, signs of insects or rodents, water pooling on the floor, wet concrete, damp air, musty odors, efflorescence, sagging insulation, and other signs of water damage to construction materials.
Inspect Your Home’s Interior
Your quarterly inspection should include a thorough check of your living space, as many symptoms will show up inside your home.
Drywall damage is one of the more apparent symptoms, so look for cracks in the sheetrock around doors, windows, and where the walls meet the ceiling. You may also notice nail heads bulging out of the drywall, walls that aren’t plumb, and cabinets separating from drywall if it bows outward.
The floor joists in your house require a level, structurally sound foundation to function correctly, so look for sagging, sloping, or buckling floors throughout your living space.
Lastly, take note of unusual allergy symptoms, uncomfortably warm or cold temperatures during the summer and winter, and utility bills that are higher than normal, all of which are signs of poor indoor air quality as a result of foundation damage.
Inspect Your Home’s Exterior
Complete your home inspection outside, where you can look for cracks in the siding, sagging or wavy roofing, and a leaning or crumbling chimney.
Your landscaping can help identify some potential soil issues as well. Signs of inadequate drainage and expansive soil that frequently cause foundation problems in Indianapolis include puddles on the lawn after rainfall or flooding, an unlevel yard, leaning or crumbling retaining walls, and signs that the dirt around your home is pulling away from your foundation.