Learn how to spot foundation problems. Get advice on how to resolve them as soon as they emerge.

Foundation problems are one of the quickest ways to ruin a person’s day because they can be costly and disagreeable. When the foundation already has a problem, it is fairly easy to spot it. If left unresolved, even the smallest foundation problems can lead to greater damage and larger, more expensive repairs.

Common foundation problems

Four most common warning signs of foundation problems: cracked, collapsed or compromised foundations.

  • Hairline fractures or cracks
  • Cracks where the side is uneven
  • Cracks that have opened
  • Concrete that is crumbling or flaking
  • Water damage and soil displacement.

Improper drainage is one of the main causes of foundation problems. When the soil around the house expands rapidly (during wet seasons), it can push a foundation upward (uplift) and then contract (during dry seasons), causing settlement and excessive movement.

Sloping floors and deformed ceilings

Foundation problems can frequently manifest themselves in the form of sloping floors or distorted ceilings. This is often due to the accumulation of water around the foundation and pushing it upward, or the drying of the soil causing the foundation to settle.

Cracked, crumbling or buckling walls

Excessive movement (settling or lifting) is another reason for foundation problems. The most evident symptoms are cracks, buckling and collapse of house walls and separations around windows. Moisture is another major cause of unnatural settlement.

The six most common foundation problems related to water

Moisture is the source of all evil when it comes to foundation problems. Be proactive in water management. Protect your foundation from moisture damage.

Foundation Drainage

Provide an adequate drainage system all around your home. The ground should slope slightly from the foundation. This allows surface and ground water to drain away from your home instead of accumulating nearby. The pooling of water causes the soil to expand. As the soil expands and rises, the foundation moves upward. Uplift” is a common sign of poor drainage and is more likely to occur in areas with clay soils.

Roof Runoff

Roof runoff can cause problems with numbers or foundations if it is not properly controlled. For example, runoff can collect around foundations instead of running off them. There are several ways to resolve potential roof runoff problems:

  • Install an efficient gutter system
  • Maintain your eavestroughs to make sure they are not leaking or clogged. 
  • Make sure the downspout is at least three feet away from the foundation so that the water drains away from the house.
  • Don’t allow eavestroughs to drain into gardens with water-retaining curbs.


Sewer pipes are usually routed under the foundation. When a leak occurs, the water flows under the foundation. If water lines run under a foundation, they can also dump water into the ground under a house. Water under a foundation creates all kinds of foundation problems. If you notice any of these problems, consider having a plumber test the pressure of your water pipes and the static electricity in your sewer system: 

  • Wet spots in the carpet
  • Tiny bubbles are released from cracks in the soil.
  • Cracks
  • An abnormally high water bill
  • Inclined doors or floors

Foundation Maintenance

Soil at the edge of the foundation is exposed to greater water evaporation than indoors, which can cause additional settlement around the perimeter. During dry periods, it is important to maintain a regular watering program. This will help maintain moisture levels and minimize movement caused by settling. A garden hose or drip system should be installed around the foundation. 

  • Get tips for proper installation and information on garden hoses.

No one wants to be stuck with unfortunate foundation problems. To avoid getting into trouble, be alert to potential warning signs and follow routine maintenance. Above all, remember to practice effective water management. After all, it’s easier to prevent problems than it is to resolve them.

Our foundation experience

We are very proud of what our customers have to say about us. Please take a moment to see what our past clients have written about our high-quality foundation repair service and our work ethic.