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5 Ways Your Walls May Indicate Foundation Issues

Problems with the foundation aren't always visible since the bulk of the damage is likely hidden beneath the ground. Looking at your home's walls and the features contained within those walls can provide a clue to any existing foundation damage.

1. Baseboard Gaps

Check the baseboards in every room of the house, particularly those along walls that back up to the exterior. If there is a gap between the bottom of the baseboard and the floor near the corners that join to interior walls, then the floor may be settling unevenly due to foundation issues. As this happens, gaps form as the walls separate from the sinking floor. 

2. Corner Cracks

Damage to the foundation causes some walls to settle and skew as well. Cracks will begin to form at the stress points, which are generally at corners. You may end up with cracks stretching diagonally from the corners of door frames or windows, or there may be cracks weaving down from the corners where walls meet the ceiling.  

3. Walls Out of Plumb

Less obvious is when a wall is out of plumb. This means the vertical surface of the wall isn't level due to a lean caused by a sinking foundation. You may notice the issue if pictures don't hang flat against the wall, or if there is an uneven space between furniture that is pushed up against the wall's surface. Leaning walls that are out of plumb should not be ignored, as they can be indicative of a structural risk.

4. Stuck Windows

Is it difficult to slide a window open or closed? Windows only work properly when the walls are perfectly squared to the foundation. If foundation damage has caused the walls to come out of square, then windows will stick and become difficult to operate. Shifting, cracks, and sinking can also cause issues with stuck windows. Usually, multiple windows will be affected when the foundation is the culprit, but sometimes only a single window may stick. 

5. Door Latch Failures

The same issues with an out-of-square wall that lead to stuck windows can also affect doors. The most common problem is that the door latch will no longer line up with the hole in the striker plate. The door won't latch closed, or it will pop open randomly. 

Contact a foundation repair service if any of these issues are present in your home so you can schedule a foundation inspection.