How Do I Know If My House's Foundation Is Sinking?

Lisa Wampler

A sinking foundation can cause a multitude of issues that could cost thousands of dollars in repairs. Early detection of a sinking foundation is the beat way to minimize the impact to your house and to the cost of repairing the damages.

Many things can cause a foundation to sink.

You do not need a structural engineer or even a licensed contractor to tell you if your foundation is sinking. There are several clues you can look for to determine if this is an issue with your home.

  1. Look for cracks in the mortar joints of your basement foundation walls. The cracks will resemble steps as they work around the bricks or blocks as well as up and down vertically.

  2. Look for cracks on the walls in the living areas of your house. Cracks will appear first in the interior walls that outline and structural support walls.

  3. Look for sloped floors in the basement. Sloping floors will indicate a sinking of the foundation. In addition, you will usually locate cracks in the concrete slab. As the floor slopes, the floors in the living area will follow suit.

  4. Look for doors that no longer close properly or excessive gaps between the doors and door jams.

  5. Look for windows that jam when you try to open or close them. This indicates flexing in the walls and possible foundation sinking.