Tips for Identifying Foundation Issues

The foundation of a home or building is essential to the value and safety of the structure. At a minimum, a foundation must do three things well: 1) Support the structure above, 2) Keep out groundwater, and 3) Act as a barrier to water and soil vapor. That being said, Benz & Associates wants to share with you some common issues that are seen in residential and commercial building foundations in the Greater St. Louis Area, as well as some tips for identifying them.

Warning Signs from Inside Your Home
All homes settle over time, and this typically isn't cause for panic. However, you’ll want to still pay attention to these warning signs that could mean that there are bigger problems. If you notice that your doors begin to have problems closing properly or are not latching when you shut them, this could be an indication of foundation settlement. If cracks appear in walls, especially over doorways and windows or where walls meet the ceiling, that could also mean you have a foundation issue. Another sign of foundation settlement is cracks in your vinyl or ceramic tile over a concrete floor. All of these are pretty serious indications that there may be some underlying foundation issues that need attention.

Keep an Eye on the Exterior of Your Home
It's important to make sure that the foundation is straight on the outside of your home. You can do this by using a level to check if the walls are leaning or not. A bulge or curve in either a block foundation or a poured concrete wall could signal that the foundation has shifted, or that the soil around your foundation may be expanding and contracting, putting pressure on walls. You should also check the concrete for weakness. The concrete used for your foundation should be so hard that you can't damage it. If you can chip or flake away the concrete with a screwdriver, the concrete could be deteriorating because of a poor mix job. This is a common problem found in homes built in the early 1900s.

Don't Forget About Structural Components
Foundation systems have other members besides the perimeter foundation wall. In your basement or crawl space, look for posts and concrete supports, or piers. Posts should stand straight and be firmly planted underneath the beams they support. Bottoms of posts should rest firmly on concrete piers. Puddles and other signs of moisture in a crawlspace or basement may indicate poor drainage around the perimeter foundation or could also mean your foundation is cracked and ground water is entering through.

The Bottom Line is This: 
If you wait to address a foundation issue until it's far too late, you could be costing yourself tens of thousands of dollars to fix the problem. It's best to be proactive and keep a sharp eye out for potential problems. And when you do notice a problem, hire the best concrete contractor in St. Louis to handle your foundation needs. Benz & Associates, LLC is a licensed and insured St. Louis foundation repair and construction services company focused on completing every project on time, and on budget. Our goal is to earn repeat business and referral business because that type of business is based off quality service and product. Everything we do is about quality and craftsmanship. Contact us for all of your concrete construction projects in the Greater St. Louis area!

Benz & Associates, LLC is Your St. Louis Trusted Concrete Company!

Benz & Associates, LLC
12804 Weber Hill Road
Saint Louis, MO 63127
Phone: (314) 393-8813
Fax: (314) 843-6427


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