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Signs of Foundation Failure Inside the House

Symptoms on the interior of a house that signify foundation problems include:

  • Misaligned doors and windows
  • Cracks in sheetrock
  • Gaps around molding
  • Sloping floors
  • Cracks in the floor or tile
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Signs of Foundation Failure Outside the House

Exterior cracks can be a sign of shifting soil:

  • Cracks in brick
  • Gaps around Doors and windows
  • Foundation cracks
  • Trim pulling away
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Signs of Foundation Failure in Crawl Space

Signs of problems underneath your house:

  • Cracks in walls
  • Sloping floors
  • Doors that will not close
  • Shifting piles in crawl space
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Signs of Foundation Failure in the Basement

Foundation repair may be needed if there are:

  • Bowing basement walls
  • Bulging basement walls
  • Wall cracks
  • Moisture problems

Common Causes for Cracks in Foundation

Expansive soils and fluctuating moisture levels are usually to blame for foundation failure. Excessive water in the soil causes it to swell. Alternatively, too little water causes the soil to shrink. In both of these scenarios, the soil under the foundation will move by shrinking or swelling if the moisture is not uniform, causing the foundation to crack or settle. Too much moisture may come from sources such as plumbing leaks, improper drainage of rainwater or other surface water, and a high water table. Soil can lose moisture from prolonged drought, especially around the house’s perimeter where it dries out more quickly.


During the pre-construction phase, the soil must be properly compacted before contractors lay the foundation. If the builder does not give careful attention to the soil layers under the foundation so they can provide stability to the structure, then the foundation may shift as the soil settles under the heavy load of a house or commercial building. If those soil layers represent different types of soil, a house can settle unevenly and lead to foundation distress. For example, if part of a house is situated on clay and the other part is on rock, seasonal shifting will vary throughout the house and may cause damage to the foundation and the house’s interior.