Your house rests on a foundation, most commonly either a cement slab or a raised foundation. In a slab foundation there are many causes that may result in damage, such as water seeping into the concrete, weakening it, cracking it and therefore causing the floors above to become uneven. In a raised foundation it is very similar, a part of the foundation is weakened in one way or another, causing the floors above to become unlevel.
There are many ways your foundation can be damaged and many ways for it to be repaired, sometimes there is not a lot of damage, but the house is not bolted to the foundation, or there is not enough support holding up the house. There are many remedies to every problem, you just need to determine the best possible solution to make your home a safe place, but first you must determine if your foundation needs to be repaired at all.
Have you noticed that your floors are uneven, that your doors and windows are hard to open or close and that they stick? Can you see cracks in the paint and walls around your house? Do you notice that your floors are so bowed that you could set a ball down and watch it roll across the room? These are all symptoms of a damaged or weak foundation and the need for floor leveling and foundation repair.
Related: 5 main reasons for foundation repair
Unlevel or uneven floors can not only cause more expensive damage and reduce the value of your home, but also they are indicators of more serious structural damage to your foundation. In addition to making sure you properly repair your foundation, if you leave your floors unlevel it can lead to more extensive structural damage that will be even more costly to repair in the future, but one thing at a time.
Fixing your foundation is the first step, and it is very important to fix the cause of the problem, and not just the cosmetic floor leveling, but if you do not level your floors after, you will be leaving them in an uneven state, which as stated before can lead to more damage to your walls, windows, doors, stucco, etc. Once you have repaired your damaged foundation you will need to look into leveling your floors. There are many options available to you for fixing your foundation, including bolting, cripple wall construction, pier and beam repair and many others.
As one of the more hands on helpful things you can do, we recommend doing a self inspection of your property. There are some more easy things you can do on your own to determine the condition of your foundation without actually going underneath your house.
You can start by looking closely at your floors. Are they even from wall to wall or do they bow through the middle? Look closely around the perimeter of the floors where they meet the walls, do they dip or rise as they reach the wall? Take a look at your doors and windows, make sure they slide open and closed easily and don’t stick, but also, look around them, are there cracks, bowing or dipping around the borders of the window and door frames? Go outside and look at the stucco around the base perimeter your property and around the exterior of the doors and windows. Again, is it bowing or dipping, is it sagging or cracked? If you have a slab foundation, can you see any cracks inside or outside in the cement?
Related: Foundation solutions
These are all not only indicators of damage that will need foundation repair and floor leveling, but signs that you would need to start taking seriously if you want to avoid more costly and dangerous damage to your home.
Finally, a professional foundation contractor should always be consulted regarding any potential problems that can be cured with your foundation.
For any foundation repair, contact us at California Foundation Works anytime to schedule your free* foundation inspection today.