10 Signs Your Hillside Home Foundation Has a Problem

The foundation of your home can develop various issues over time. In some cases, the visual signs of such issues are not a cause for worry. However, if they move past cosmetic issues (if a hairline crack widens, for instance) they may indicate serious problems that require professional help. If you notice any of the following signs of foundation flaws, you should contact an experienced East Bay and Oakland foundation expert to find out whether repairs are needed.

Some Signs You Need to Consider Foundation Repair:

  1. Loosening of Walls
    When an exterior wall pulls away from the foundational structure, you will need to take remedial action as soon as possible. Or you may see gaps between cinder blocks, or loosening grout between the blocks.
  2. Floors and Doors
    It is normal for a building to settle as time passes, but some of the results of that settling may need to be rectified. Uneven floors might not be a huge problem, but they could well be if the change in gradient becomes excessive. If any of the doors in your home are out of square, with cracks in the wall area over them, get your structure and foundation examined by a qualified structural contractor or engineer.
  3. Separation of Frames
    Like walls pulling away from the structure, door frames that pull out from the walls are a problem that should not be ignored. The same is true of window frames.
  4. Cracks in the Tile
    If you see cracks in the tiled floors of your home, you might want to consult a contractor. Multiple cracks in the tiles could indicate a foundation issue.
  5. Floors that Bounce
    Bouncing floors could be a sign of the wood rotting or an infestation eating away at wood elements. If the floors in your home bounce noticeably, it’s probably time to hire a local foundation contractor who specializes in hillside homes.
  6. Structural Wood Rotting
    Even if your floors are not showing signs of wear or weakness, the wood elements of your foundation could be degrading if your house is more than a few decades old. Rotting wood in the pier and beams of your house is a serious issue that usually needs immediate remediation, either repair or replacement. Causes could be termites, water damage, or soil settlement.
  7. Popping Nails
    You might see nails popping out of the drywall in your home. If it is only one or two nails, there might not be an issue, but more than that could indicate trouble. Tapping them back down and applying paint to cover them is not a good long-term solution!
  8. Separation of the Expansion Joint
    An expansion joint helps to manage structural movement. This movement might be the result of such factors as wind, humidity, or the earth shifting. If the expansion joint separates, it could fail and pose a threat to the integrity of your home.
  9. Cracks in the Interior Sheetrock
    If you observe cracks in a zigzagging pattern on the interior sheetrock, you should contact a foundation specialist. The zigzagged cracks may extend to the full height of the wall; this is an even more compelling sign of a problem that needs to be fixed.
  10. Cracks in Exterior Walls and Foundation
    Not all exterior cracks are a cause for concern. If you see small, fine cracks in the walls of your Oakland foundation, there may not be an issue. On the other hand, large, zigzagging cracks are sometimes an indication of foundation damage. Outside bricks with cracks should also be regarded as a potential warning sign.

Oakland Foundation Contractor Serving the East Bay Area

When you are faced with problems in the foundation of your home, it is always best to err on the side of caution. Take signs such as cracks, loosening walls, and bouncing floors seriously, and contact an expert on foundation repair in Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont and all along the East Bay Hill Region. Call Jim Gardner Construction at (510) 655-3409, or contact us online for a free quote.

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