How do you know if you have foundation problems? There are key signs to look for that indicate your home is settling. Problems only get worse over time, so if you see any of these symptoms, request a free quote to see if you need foundation repair:
The most obvious and (usually) definite sign of foundation problems is cracked bricks. Expansive soil swells when it gets wet and compacts when it gets dry. This constant expansion/contraction causes uneven movement of the home's foundation, usually resulting in cracking bricks on the exterior.
Cracked bricks often have a zig-zag pattern, following the mortar joints. However, these basement cracks can run vertically, cracking the bricks themselves, horizontally, or any combination. It's most important, though, to realize this is a symptom, and not the problem! If you fix the cracking bricks by patching or filling, you're not addressing the problem, which will likely get worse. Lots of money has been wasted by filling the basement cracks or even rebuilding portions of walls with cracked bricks, just to have the problem recurr.
Your chimney is most likely the heaviest portion of your house. Chimneys are also usually attached to a support wall minimally with mortar or other braces that typically cannot offset hold the chimney in place when the footing beneath the chimney settles. This creates a potentially dangerous situation in which a heavy and (essentially) detachable portion of your home begins to shift.
It's important to have chimneys looked at as soon as you see signs of shifting, leaning, or settling. Simply attempting to fill in gaps with mortar is masking the problem that will likely get worse.
While cracked bricks and leaning chimneys are the most important signs to look for, there are other strong indicators of foundation failure such as: