Settling is a term often used to describe a home’s gradual sink into the ground over time. Settling occurs when the soil beneath the foundation begins to shift. Although settling is usually not something to worry about, sometimes it can lead to problematic foundation damage. Because of this, it’s important to know how to tell when your house is settling so you know when to call for help. Here are some of the signs of settling:
Struggling to Open Doors and Windows
Have you noticed that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to open and close the doors and windows in your home? This may seem like an insignificant problem, but it’s actually a sign of a house settling. When the house begins to settle, the doors and windows may become slightly angled so they don’t quite fit inside their frames anymore. As a result, opening and closing them becomes more difficult.
Gaps Between the Windows and Walls
The walls can start to pull away from the window frames when the home begins to settle, which leaves a gap between the window frame and the wall. This is an easy problem to spot, so this is often the first sign of settling that homeowners notice.
Cracks in the Foundation
When the soil underneath the foundation starts to shift, various parts of the foundation may sink a little bit deeper into the ground. As a result, the foundation will no longer lay flat against the ground. Cracks can start to appear around the areas that have been affected by the shift of the soil. However, cracks in the foundation could appear for a number of reasons, including seasonal climate changes. Therefore, it’s not safe to assume that your house is settling simply because there are cracks in the foundation.
Burst Water Pipes
Water pipes run throughout your home to ensure water is available whenever you turn a faucet or showerhead on. When the house begins to shift downwards due to settling, the water pipes can become twisted. Sometimes, homeowners will notice that their water pipes are starting to bend or twist. But unfortunately, many homeowners don’t notice that there is a problem until a water pipe bursts as a result of the shift.
Floors can start to slant as part of the home begins to gradually settle into the ground. At first, the slant may not be noticeable, but as it worsens over time, it will become more and more obvious.
But, it’s important to note that slanting floors can indicate other issues as well. In some cases, the floor can start to slant because the supports or joists are rotting, which is not related to settling.
When to Call For Help
Settling can often be caused by natural changes in the environment, but it can also be caused by errors during construction. For example, if a builder removes too much soil when constructing a basement, he must refill the area with soil that is no longer compacted. If the soil is not compacted enough, it will not be strong enough to hold the weight of the house, so it will start to shift. There’s no way to tell whether the settling is serious or not without a professional’s help. Therefore, it’s recommended that you call a professional if you spot any of the signs of settling.
While a house settling is never a good thing, it’s a common problem for many homeowners. If you live in an older home, you may have to address the problem before you sell. In any case, you can always do quick-fixes to tackle any of these signs by keeping a close eye on the condition of your home.