Tar Heel Tip of the Week: Signs of Foundation Settlement

Monday, August 29th, 2016 by Jaimie Hooker

There are multiple signs you may notice that could indicate your home is experiencing a foundation settlement problem…Today we will cover the most common signs that are visible on the exterior of your home.

Signs Outside of Your Home: 

Signs of Foundation Settlement, leaning chimney, stair-step cracks, vertical and horizontal cracks

As you take a look at the exterior of your home, there may be some visible signs of foundation settlement present.

  • Stair-Step Cracking

Stair-step cracking is a common sign of foundation settlement. This type of settlement is very common amongst brick and stucco homes. As the soil continues to settle over time, your home follows and continues to settle further. Vertical cracks may widen, indicating the wall is rotating outward.

  • Chimneys

One of the more dramatic signs of settlement is a leaning chimney, separating from the rest of the home. Sometimes, chimneys are built on a foundation that is not connected to the foundation of the home, making it even more at risk for settlement.

  • Clues from Doors & Windows

Whenever an opening occurs in a wall, such as a door or a window, is the weakest point of the wall. Because of this, doors and windows often show the first signs of foundation settlement.

    • Doors and windows out of square
    • Cracks extending from the corners of doors or windows
    • The separation of a door or window from the framing or exterior finish
    • New caulking around exterior doors or windows (this is a common cosmetic fix that doesn’t permanently take care of the real problem)

These are three of the most common signs the exterior of your home can show you. If your home is experiencing any of these signs or if you’re unsure about the stability of your home’s foundation, we’re here to help! Our trained professionals can correctly diagnose your home’s foundation problem(s). Call our office to schedule a free evaluation.




About the author
Jaimie Hooker is the Assistant Marketing Director at Tar Heel Basement Systems; authoring case studies, technical papers, creating and captioning photo albums and managing website content. She also oversees the organization of video testimonials, shows and events, Jaimie lives in the small town of Madison, NC with her husband, Paul, and 3 year old son, Franklin.