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How can I differentiate between normal foundation settling and a serious foundation issue?

Differentiating between normal settling and a serious foundation issue can sometimes be challenging, but here are a few key factors to consider:

  1. Age of the property: Newer homes often experience some degree of settling as the soil beneath the foundation adjusts. In contrast, significant movement or shifting in an older home may indicate a more serious foundation problem.

  2. Magnitude and progression of symptoms: Minor cracks or slight unevenness in floors

Cracks in Drywall, signs of foundation damage
Cracks in Drywall, signs of foundation damage

or walls are generally considered normal settling. However, if these symptoms worsen over time or new, more severe symptoms arise, it could be a sign of a more serious foundation issue.

  1. Timeframe of symptoms: Normal settling typically occurs within the first few years after construction. If you notice significant changes or symptoms well beyond this initial settling period, it may be a cause for concern.

  2. Symptom patterns: Normal settling often leads to relatively uniform and predictable symptoms, such as minor cracks in certain areas. On the other hand, a serious foundation problem can result in more widespread and irregular symptoms, such as multiple large cracks, significant wall or floor displacement, or doors and windows that no longer function properly.

  3. Professional assessment: When in doubt, it's always best to consult with a professional foundation repair specialist or structural engineer. They have the expertise to evaluate the extent and seriousness of the foundation issues and can provide an accurate assessment.

Remember, even if you suspect normal settling, it's essential to monitor the symptoms over time. If you notice any significant changes or are uncertain about the severity of the issue, it's advisable to seek professional guidance. Prompt action can help prevent further damage and ensure the long-term stability of your home's foundation.

Spartan Ram Jack is a locally owned company and is part of the nationwide Ram Jack network of foundation repair and waterproofing specialists. Spartan Ram Jack is a name you can trust for commercial, industrial, and residential foundation repair and basement waterproofing services.

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