Homeowners have a lot of responsibility in keeping up with their homes. Typically we worry about the appearance of our home and performing routine maintenance to our house. One of the most troubling things that we must keep a close eye on is the foundation of our homes. The foundation of your homes helps ensure that our home is safe and secure to live in.
If the foundation of your home is not properly inspected or maintained over time it can have devastating consequences. You can always hire a professional to help inspect your foundation if you are unsure of what to look for. Here are some signs that you could have a leak in your home’s foundation.
1) Visible Cracks
One of the most telling signs that there could be a leak or problem with your home’s foundation is if you notice any cracks or hairline fractures in the foundation of your home. If you notice cracks in different directions and ones that are larger than ⅛ inch you should seek immediate help. Professionals such as Evans Leak Detection can come and inspect your home and use various leak detection techniques to determine if there is a possible leak in your home. Cracks are often a sign that the foundation has shifted and is unstable.
You may see cracks on the interior or the exterior of the home. If you have a basement you may see cracks on the interior foundation walls. You could also see them on the first story exterior walls, depending on the type of construction used for your home.
2) Puddles Present On The Floor
If you notice any puddles present on your basement floor you may have an issue with the foundation of the home. If the foundation of the home is letting water and moisture through this could be a serious sign that something is wrong. Oftentimes when you see puddles on the floor or wet walls it is a sign that there is a leak in your home’s foundation. This common sign is an early way to judge for leak detection in the foundation of your home. Since the water needs to go somewhere it will likely pool as puddles on the surface of your floor.
One of the main reasons why there could be puddles present on your floors is due to incorrect water drainage. If your home is not properly draining water you could be getting water into your home. When water is not properly drained away from your home the soil soaks up the excess moisture. When the soil can no longer hold any moisture it drains the water wherever it can, which may be into your home. If the soil around your house is too wet to hold the moisture it creates an unstable foundation that should be looked at by a professional.
3) Buckling Floors
If you notice buckling floors in your hardwood, vinyl or laminate flooring it could be a sign of a serious leak in your home’s foundation. Water damage is the main reason why you may notice buckling floors since moisture is an enemy of most flooring materials. While there could be many different reasons for moisture in the home, the most serious one that you need to worry about is a leak in the foundation of the home.
If you have serious buckling of the floors and you notice it in several areas of the home you may want to get your home inspected to make sure there is no leak in the foundation. The buckling floors could also be due to poor installation, spill that was not cleaned up and even extra moisture in the house.
4) Sticking Windows and Doors
If you notice a window or a door that suddenly and randomly starts to stick it could be a sign of leaks in your home’s foundation. When leaks are present it causes the foundation to shift and these shifts can change the structure of the home. When the structure starts to shift it can change the load that the house has making some doors or windows difficult to open. If you notice a door or window that suddenly becomes hard to open you should inspect the house for other signs of leaks.
5) Uneven Floors
Another common sign that could be a result of a leak in your home’s foundation is uneven floors. Your floors may be uneven in a single room or throughout the entire house. To test and see if your floors are uneven you can use a ball and see if it rolls when placed on the floor. This method is ideal for hard flooring. If you have carpets you may need to use a level to see if the floors appear to be even or uneven. When there is a leak in the foundation it is commonly due to the soil around the house having too much moisture. This causes the foundation to move and the pressure of the home to shift. The shifting loads can result in uneven floors.
6) Mold or Mildew
Another common sign that can indicate a leak in your home’s foundation is the appearance of mold or mildew. Mold or mildew can grow under your flooring, behind your walls and in other areas that are hidden from the naked eye. Some people may be able to see the mold or mildew in their homes while others may only be able to smell it. If you start to smell mold or mildew, which often smells musty you should check for other signs of a leak.
7) Randomly High Water Bills
If you have a foundation or slab leak due to your own plumbing one of the most common ways to detect this is through randomly high water bills. Most of us have normal water bills that may change by a few dollars every month. For the most part, our water bills remain constant because we use the same amount of water throughout the year. Some of us may use more during warmer months when we water flowers or fill up a pool. For the most part, though, you can predict what your water bill will be each month, especially if you compare it to the year before. If you notice a very high water bill one month and have no reason for it you could have a leak in your plumbing and foundation.
8) Rotten Wood
Another common sign of a leak in your home’s foundation is rotten wood. When water enters the home due to a leak it needs somewhere to go. It may pool in puddles on the floor or soak into the surrounding wood. When wood gets wet over and over again it starts to rot. If you notice rotten wood it could be a serious issue. Rotten wood not only indicates a possible foundation leak but it could also indicate an issue with your foundation.
Foundation leaks are a serious issue that should be treated with extreme caution and care. You should perform routine inspections of all areas of your home to check for these early warning signs. If you notice any of these signs you should seek professional help immediately. Keeping your foundation in good shape is the best way to protect you, your family, and the investment of your house. If you let a foundation leak go for too long it could cause even more damage, cost a lot more money, and cause potential injury to you and your loved ones.