It is usual for a house in Reno, NV to settle over time, and slight unevenness isn’t a cause to panic. However, there are several factors, such as weather, plumbing leaks, and tree roots, that can lead to foundation problems. Unfortunately, as these problems worsen, it can lead to extensive damages to the foundation, which may create more dangers, such as electrical, water, or gas line issues. Recognizing the early warning signs of foundation problems can help to eliminate more extensive and expensive problems for your home. Hinman & Associates Insurance has put together a few of the most common warning signs you should be aware of that may indicate a problem with your foundation.
Cracks in the Exterior Brick
One of the first warning signs of potential foundation problems is cracks in the exterior brick walls. As the soil under your house settles, the exterior walls also settle and rotate. As the exterior walls rotate, it puts stress on the joints and bricks, which causes small cracks in the bricks. Unfortunately, over time the cracks will continue to grow larger, leading to unstable walls, potential water damage, and an entrance for pests.
Bowing Walls in the Basement
As the moisture continues to build up in soil that is surrounding your house, it becomes heavier, which ultimately builds excessive pressure on the basement walls. Then, as the soil dries out, it begins to contract and pull away from the walls. This pushing and pulling from the earth on the basement walls causes them to bow and bend, eventually causing cracks in the walls of the basement.
Cracks in the Interior Walls
It’s common to find a few small interior wall cracks as the foundation begins to settle, and a well-constructed house can handle a fair amount of concrete shrinkage, soil expansion, and contraction and stress. However, if the soil around your home has excessive or inappropriate settling, it can have a significant effect on the foundation. This excessive settling often causes cracks in the interior walls, especially in the area where the ceiling and wall meet.
It’s important also to be aware of things such as windows and doors that are difficult to open and close uneven flooring, and a leaning chimney. These are signs that the foundation may have extensive issues, potential problems that you cannot visibly see, such as excess moisture inside the walls.
Residents of Reno, NV interested in learning more information about foundation issues or to review your current home insurance policy, contact Hinman & Associates Insurance.