5 Warning Signs of Foundation Issues

Olivia Elsher

Jul 11, 2021


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Seeing signs of foundation issues in your home may have you running for the hills in panic. However, most of the common problems have relatively simple solutions. To keep your foundation in good repair, routinely monitor your home for warning signs and alert a repair service if you see any of the following. 

1. Cracks in Foundation

Visible cracks in your foundation are often a sign something is wrong. Take a look at the direction of the line to determine if you should seek repairs. Vertical cracks are a typical mark of a settling home and are nothing to worry about. 

Horizontal and diagonal cracks point to something more serious. Horizontal lines signify that the soil around your home is applying too much pressure, and your foundation walls are caving in. Diagonal lines can point to uneven settling, where one part of your home is settling faster than the rest. 

2. Musty Basement Smell

That musty smell in your basement is begging for attention. Excess moisture leads to mold and mildew, which produces an awful odor. In some instances, your lot drainage may be the issue, letting water in around a basement door or window. You could also have a leaky pipe or drain. 

If none of these seem to be the problem, your foundation could be the issue. An improper draining system in your yard can lead to large amounts of water funneling right to your basement. Once there, it sits and wears down at the materials until small cracks form allowing moisture to get inside. 

crack in brick exterior sign of foundation problems

3. Diagonal Cracks Above Windows and Doors

New diagonal cracks in your home are one of the top warning signs of foundation issues. You’ll find these above windows or doors in your home. They’re most often an indication of uneven settling in the foundation in that part of the house. Cracks that are diagonal or wider than a quarter-inch need urgent attention – they often signal significant foundation sinking. 

4. Doors That Stick or Don’t Close

Humidity can cause wood to swell, and loose hinges or screws can cause doors to become lopsided and not able to open or close properly. These reasons are more common than foundation issues, but it’s still worth exploring. 

A foundation settling unevenly can throw windows and door jams out of square, which won’t allow them to open and shut correctly. Getting a professional to inspect your foundation will let you know the reason for your sticky doors.  

a living room with wooden sloping floors

5. Sloping Floors

Older homes, especially, are prone to uneven or sloping floors. These can be a hazard for young children and the elderly if the situation is bad enough. Sloping floors are one of the possible signs of foundation issues. Water damage and soil pressure can cause your foundation to shift. That movement over time forces part of the floor to rise and part to sink, creating a slope. If the angle concerns you, take measurements to see if they’re within an acceptable range. 

Protect Your Investment

Your home is likely the most expensive thing you’ll purchase over the course of your life. If you suspect foundation issues, call a local repair service with basement knowledge and experience. You’ll only be out a small fee if they find no problems, and you’ll have gained peace of mind. However, if they do find damage, they can fix it before it becomes a more extensive issue.

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