Even the sturdiest foundations need some TLC. The rock upon which your house is built is one of the sturdiest parts of residential construction. While paint, plumbing, or roof shingles are meant to last 10 years at most, a good foundation will last for 20, 30, or 40 years at least. Even so, your foundation requires maintenance and attention if you want your home to keep it’s value!
The signs of an aging or crumbling foundation are easy to miss if you’re not paying attention. However, today’s blog is for those who are paying attention—who want their homes to last for decades (or want a high asking price when they sell).
Aging Foundations: What to Look For
The #1 enemy of your foundation is moisture. A leaky pipe or poor drainage can erode the strongest, sturdiest foundation in the world. If the Grand Canyon was made from the flow of water, then water can certainly destroy your foundation.
Signs of moisture (and other issues) include:
- Being able to chip the foundation with a screwdriver
- Cracks in ceramic flooring above a concrete surface
- Misaligned doors that jam or fail to catch
- Windows that no longer close or close incompletely
- Puddles forming in your crawl space
- Cracks in the walls coming up from the floor
Foundations should be straight, so your walls should not be leaning. If you use a level and find that your walls are sitting at an angle, your foundation may have shifted beneath your home. The foundation itself should be absolutely solid—if you can chip or alter it in any way with a hand tool, then the foundation is likely already eroded in other spots.