What Are Interior Signs of Foundation Failure

stairstep wall crack.
Foundation wall cracks in a stair-step pattern can be an indication your home has a foundation problem.

When determining if your home has foundation issues, a good place to start is by inspecting the foundation itself. If you don’t find any telltale signs around the foundation, such as cracks, dents, or gaps, don’t give up. Our experts suggest looking for other signs right inside your home. While foundation settlement can be determined by visible evidence on the outside, interior signs can also provide clear evidence that something is wrong with a home's foundation.

After reading this blog, you’ll be able to distinguish interior signs of foundation failure and what steps you can take to resolve them. Plus, make sure to check out our Ask An Engineer video that further explains how to identify these problems.

Common Interior Signs of Foundation Problems

Signs of foundation settlement can show up in multiple areas of the home. Here are the most common signs to look for.

Slanted Doors and Window Frames

Having trouble closing one or more doors or windows in your home? It could be that your foundation is settling. Look around any door and window frames to see if a slant or gap is making it harder to close.

sticking window
Foundation settlement often creates gaps around windows and doors, making
them difficult to operate.

Drywall Cracks

Cracks on drywall, especially near door and window frames, are another common sign of an issue with your foundation. Common foundation cracks include horizontal cracks, vertical cracks, stair-step cracks, hairline cracks, and diagonal cracks. However, not all cracks are a cause for concern. Learn more about foundation cracks and when to worry about them here.

drywall crack.
Drywall cracks around doors and windows are a common sign of foundation settlement.

Uneven Floors

When you walk around your floors, do they feel uneven? Two ways to test this are with a spirit measure or with a marble.

Spirit measure (or carpenter measure) - this can work on any flooring (carpet, tile, wood, etc.). Find a spot in the center of the room or around the edges of the room. Lay the carpenter’s level on the floor. If the bubble is centered at the top of the level, the floor is level at that spot. Try other spots around the room. If the floor is level, the bubble should stay in the center.

Marble method - this will only work on a hard, smooth surface. Find a spot across a hard floor surface. Place the marble down. If it rolls, this means your floor is uneven.

sagging floor
Sagging, uneven interior floors are another indication your foundation is failing.

When Should I Be Concerned About My Foundation?

It’s important to note that a singular crack or one uneven doorway doesn’t automatically mean your entire foundation is failing. Finding a pattern, such as slanted floors or doors that won’t close evenly, is stronger evidence of foundation settlement than just one incident.

When looking for signs of foundation settlement, it’s best to look back on previous repairs or cosmetic fixes you or a previous owner made. Such repairs may include repeatedly adjusting door hinges or shaving off door edges to realign the door. When looking for drywall repairs, use a flashlight, especially around doors and windows, to see if there have been any repairs around those areas.

Another thing to note is that foundation settlement doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, all homes go through some foundation settlement; it’s natural! That said, it’s important to note such changes in your foundation and seek professional help if you’re wondering if your foundation’s condition is severe.

Call a Foundation Repair Contractor for an Accurate Inspection

Performing a foundation inspection yourself is a great beginning step to determine if you have any serious foundation issues around your home. If you do find such issues and/or are unsure if they’re big enough to require foundation repair, contact your local foundation repair expert. A professional foundation repair contractor can give an in-depth inspection of your home and help clearly determine the severity of the issue(s).

Foundation Supportworks contractors are licensed, trained, and certified in diagnosing and solving foundation issues in and around the home. Contact your local Foundation Supportworks contractor today to learn more!