There are several common symptoms of foundation damage that can appear in and around your home in Holly Springs. Below, we’ll provide some information on diagnosing each of these and the underlying problem that likely causes them.
Physical damage to your foundation in the form of concrete cracks is often what homeowners notice most readily. However, some foundation cracks don’t indicate that you have a severe issue, while others suggest serious structural damage. The gap’s location can help you figure out the severity.
Cement Floor Cracks
You might find cracks in your concrete slab if it’s exposed while you’re replacing flooring, but more often than not, you’ll notice these fissures in your crawlspace or basement floor.
If you see hairline cracks that are flat across the gap, chances are they are from concrete settling and don’t indicate structural issues. Most homeowners in Holly Springs have these sealed by a foundation repair contractor to keep their under-home area dry.
If cement floor cracks continue to grow on older homes, widen to beyond ⅛” inch, or are unlevel across the gap, they more likely result from differential settling. These irregularities suggest that your foundation’s structural integrity has been compromised, and you’ll likely require stabilization to prevent foundation failure.
Vertical Foundation Wall Cracks
Fissures that form on your concrete block walls or that are visible on the exterior of your slab are also almost always from routine settling. The only concern these damages present is water intrusion, so you should opt to have them sealed by a foundation repair contractor with epoxy or polyurethane.
Horizontal Foundation Wall Cracks
Fissures running along the length of your foundation wall are typically only visible from underneath your home. They occur when the hydrostatic pressure from saturated soil outside bears too much weight on the wall, causing it to collapse in response. This damage is prevalent in Holly Springs, where clay is abundant in the ground. Unfortunately, it usually requires structural repair.
Stair-Step Foundation Wall Cracks
Stair-step cracks develop in a step pattern along the joint lines between concrete blocks in your foundation wall. They suggest that your foundation is suffering from differential settling and that the bottom portion of the wall crack and the slab connected to it are sinking more rapidly into the earth than the rest of your home.
These cracks are almost always structural and tend to necessitate the most expensive repair costs.
Wet Basement or Crawlspace
The absorbent clay soil and above-average rainfall in Holly Springs contribute to a high occurrence of water intrusion and moisture problems for homeowners in the area.
Liquid water is generally only an issue for homes with crawlspaces and basements unless severe flooding occurs.
You’ll likely notice standing water under your house, puddles of water on the floor, water visibly entering through foundation cracks, wet spots on the walls or floor, or water damage to items in storage or building materials.
Water vapor can be a problem for all foundations, including concrete slabs, because runoff can wick through the pores in your concrete in any direction, including upward to the area between your slab and your first floor. If your home is built slab-on-grade, signs of moisture accumulation include moldy odors in your house, water damage where plumbing leaks have been ruled out, and pest infestation.
If you have a crawlspace or basement, symptoms of moisture build-up include damp air below your house, musty odors, mold growth, efflorescence on the walls, and pest infestation.
Decreased Indoor Air Quality
Lastly, the conditions beneath your structure can affect the air in your living space, sometimes helping you identify moisture or water problems. Humidity entering your upper floors can make the air temperature feel more extreme. As such, uncomfortably hot or cold air in the summer or winter – or increased utility bills in response – can suggest moisture accumulation in your crawlspace or basement or above your slab.
Mold spores working their way into your living space can trigger allergy symptoms. Itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose, and difficulty breathing that isn’t attributed to another problem could help you identify a moisture issue under your house.