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Three Commonly Ignored Signs of a House that Needs Underpinning

by Donald Woods

The condition of the foundation is what determines whether a house will have enough structural integrity to stand for many years. If the first foundation was not strong enough, or if water and other external forces have weakened it, it may be possible to strengthen it using concrete or metallic supports. The process of using metal supports to improve the foundation of a home is known as underpinning, and it is instrumental in stabilising a shaky foundation. Here are some of the most commonly ignored signs of a house which needs underpinning.

Interior sheetrock cracks

You might be having a foundation problem if the interior sheetrock has developed cracks that cover nearly the entire height of the wall. Another subtle sign of a weak foundation is when the wallpaper starts pulling away from the wall and there are cracks on the junction between the wall and the ceiling. All these are indicators of a house which is unstable and falling apart because of the pressure of its unbalanced weight.

Rotten wood piers and beams

Most people think about humidity in the basement and foundation when they notice rotten piers and beams inside the house. High humidity could also mean that the soil where the foundation lies is too wet and is therefore vulnerable to shifting. If you notice that the piers and beams are rotting, look for other related signs of foundation problems such as sagging, cracks on the exterior walls and doors which won't close to help you diagnose a foundation problem. 

Separation of the expansion joints

Expansion joints are installed to create the extra room needed for the movement which is caused by shifting earth. When the foundation is moving more than it should, the expansion joint will be stretched to the limit, so it will start separating. A separated expansion joint is a warning sign that the house needs underpinning as soon as possible because it indicates that the foundation could fail at any time.

Other signs of a foundation in trouble include nails popping out of the drywall, tile cracks and walls pulling away from the house. It is crucial to ensure that you call in an underpinning contractor to assess the house as soon as you notice these weaknesses because it will help get a diagnosis and repair within the shortest period possible. When foundation weaknesses are fixed on time, the house can regain its strength and stability. Contact a company like Jeffrey Hills and Associates to learn more.