Foundation settling happens within the first three years after the house is built, as the foundations “relax” on the surrounding soil. In most cases, you will find some minor cracks in the wall that can be easily patched. There are, however, some cases that require help from a foundation repair specialist. Stratum Structural Systems shares a look at conditions that require a foundation specialist.
Cracks in the House Foundations
Cracks on the house foundations can lead to bigger problems. Moisture can penetrate the cracks, which can weaken concrete, as well as allow moisture in the basement. This leads to increased basement humidity, as well as mold and mildew growth. Additionally, take particular note of cracks on load-bearing walls, especially those that are wider at the top than at the bottom. This means one side of the house is settling lower than the other, resulting in uneven settling.
Sticky Doors and Windows
Improper settling also results in hard-to-open doors and windows, which would be unusual in a newly-built home, as the door and window frames would still be new. As part of the wall settles, pressure is placed on the door frame. As pressure increases over time, you may also notice cracks on the frame finish, or on the glass itself. You can place a spirit level to check if the wall and frames are still level. If they appear to be bowed, they need the attention of foundation and basement repair contractors as soon as possible.
Slab foundations are built like rafts. There are cases where, instead of the slabs cracking or breaking, the entire house tilts as the soil settles on one side. People with a cat-like sense of balance will notice that something’s wrong with the floor. You can place a ball bearing or a marble on the floor and it would roll towards a certain direction. You can again use your trusty spirit level to determine if the floor is level.