Is That a Crack? How to Recognize Foundation Problems and What to Do About Them


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. Please read our disclosure for more info.

You’ve worked hard to turn your house into a home and to create a welcoming atmosphere for everyone who comes through your front door.

Now, you want to know what you can do to ensure that your house stays in great working order. You love keeping your home clean, you schedule regular roof inspections, and you take excellent care of your garden.

However, there’s one major maintenance project that many homeowners intentionally ignore or don’t recognize until it’s too late: foundation problems.

Read on to know the signs of foundation issues, and learn what you can do to right the ship as soon as possible.

Common Signs of Foundation Problems

There are serious dangers — not to mention high costs — associated with homes and foundation problems.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the most common signs that there’s an issue. If you recognize one or more of these signs, we’ll also fill you in on what you should do to fix your home’s foundation fast.

1. Large Exterior Cracks

Step outside and get up close and personal with your home’s exterior.

You might notice a few hairline cracks in the brick or siding, or even on the steps leading up to your front door. In most cases, this isn’t a cause for concern.

However, if the cracks look like a zig-zag, and are large enough to be spotted even from about a foot or so away?

You have a foundation issue on your hand. Also be on the lookout for bricks that have shifted away from the exterior wall, and those that are sticking out.

2. “Soft” Floors

Does it feel like there’s a little bit of a “give” when you walk across your floor?

The bad news is that this is a definite sign of a foundation problem. However, it may also be a sign that you have termites. Your home is no longer safe and may even be in danger of collapsing in these “soft” areas.

Get help immediately.

3. Exposed Nails

Exposed nails aren’t just unsightly and dangerous.

They’re also a sign that your foundation is no longer stable. While one or two nails isn’t a crisis, if there are several nails protruding out of your drywall, you’ve got a major issue on your hands.

4. Cracks in Tile and Sheetrock

Take a look at your kitchen flooring, your backsplash, and even any tiling that you have in your bathroom.

Have you noticed that tile cracks seem to have gotten worse over the past few months? Are they deep, jagged, and in multiple rooms of your home?

Your tiles are a kind of “measuring device” for your home’s foundation. If they’re seriously cracked, there’s an issue.

The same goes for cracks in the sheetrock in your home, especially if the cracks are pretty much as tall as the wall itself. Also, look to your wallpaper to fill you in on your foundation.

Notice cracking or staining? If so, it’s time to act.

5. Uneven Flooring

Earlier, we spoke about the problems of soft, almost trampoline-like flooring as a sign of foundation problems.

But if your flooring is uneven? That’s a sure sign of an issue, as well.

This likely means that liquid has gotten into the flooring, warping it and causing boards and other materials to lift up. To give it a test, drop a bit of water on your floor.

Notice that the water all flows in the same direction?

If so, you likely need to get in touch with a professional.

6. A Jammed Door

If your door won’t close or open, or if you notice a large gap between your door frame and the door when it’s closed?

It’s a sure sign of a foundation problem. You may also notice hairline cracks above the door frame, or surrounding it on all sides.

How to Handle Foundation Issues

Let’s get one thing straight. When it comes to something as serious as the foundation of your home, taking a “DIY” or “fix it and forget it” approach just isn’t going to cut it.

In many cases, it’s not even safe.

Don’t believe us?

Check out this post from Basement Worx to get a look at some of the consequences of thinking you can handle these issues on your own. Be warned — it isn’t pretty.

The only real way to fix foundation problems is to get in touch with someone who is actually qualified and experienced. You can easily make the problem much worse if you try to tackle it on your own. Leaving it alone for too long, or doing improper work, can also make the repair process much more expensive.

Act quickly, and work only with a professional.

Recognizing the Signs of Foundation Problems: Wrapping Up

Whether you have a cracked foundation or just feel like you’re in a bit of a design rut, it’s hard to feel comfortable in your own home if you know there are issues you haven’t yet addressed.

Fixing foundation problems as quickly as possible is one way to keep your home in great shape.

However, not all the changes you make have to be quite so drastic.

Even small steps like upgrading your bedding, investing in a few houseplants, or adding blinds to your bedroom to keep out street light can make all the difference in the world.

Keep checking back in with our blog for more tips and tricks about how to maintain and transform every room in your home.