Common Foundation Problems Found in Florida
The foundation is the most important part of our homes. It is a base for our house, and if not built properly, it can cause many problems, which can result in severe damage to the structure in the long run. When it comes to homes in Florida, there are plenty of factors that could cause potential damage to the foundation. A warm and humid climate is one of the main influencing reasons for Florida’s homeowners’ troubles. Still, sometimes damage comes naturally, since the material is decaying or if the soil is very absorbent. Whatever the reason for foundation problems found in Florida, everything can be fixed if the damage is identified and addressed on time.
How to know if there are foundation problems in your home?
There are a lot of factors that may cause foundation problems in Florida homes. Many structural damage issues come in noticeable manifestations, while others might not be so easy to spot. However, knowing what and where to look might help you register the damage on time. This is especially recommendable when buying a new house. Here’s what to look for:
- Pay attention to the shifting chimney,
- Look for any cracks on interior and exterior walls,
- Examine if there is mold anywhere in the house or on the outside,
- Test the windows and doors,
- Check if the ceiling and floor are sagging,
- Look for bowing walls,
- Are there any musty smells near the crawlspace?
These are all pretty obvious warning signs, but still, to be sure about how to start resolving the issue, look for a professional opinion. That way, you can find out about the seriousness of the matter and possible ways to solve it.
Uneven floors and crawlspace
During the construction of a house, we often neglect the crawlspace, which can lead to severe problems for homeowners. After the crawlspace sinks, the floor will sink towards the center of the house as well. The sinking floors are one of Florida’s most common foundation problems, often accompanied by mold issues. If the foundation is the cause of these troubles, you can fix them by installing foundation piers or stabilizing the soil with a polymer injection. Sometimes drainage or complete foundation repair is necessary. Either way, the sooner you notice the problem and start fixing it, the better.
Sticking windows and doors
Jamming doors and windows in our homes seem like a minor issue. However, these signs are usually manifestations of more serious structural problems with crawlspace support and settlement. If you are experiencing these issues along with small cracks around walls and windows, address the issues immediately because the damage to your home might rapidly expand. Still, the jamming of doors and windows can result from several things non-related to the foundation. When checking them out, look for other signs that usually come together with this particular issue. That way, you can know for sure what the real cause of this complication is. According to moving professionals such as those you can find at Best Movers in Florida, the doors and windows are the first things their clients should check when moving into a new place.
Cracks in the walls and ceiling
This is the most common manifestation of foundation problems found in Florida. They could be anywhere - between corners, around windows, joints, pillars, etc. However, some small cracks around windows are “cosmetic”. They are the result of seasonal changes in the underlying construction and drywall and pose no serious risk. Even fixing them is easy and can be a simple DIY project. Still, if you can’t tell the difference between superficial and structural damage causing cracks, it’s better to double-check it with professionals.
Water damage is the main reason for the deterioration of house foundations. Causes for these troubles are many in the Sunshine State, from floods and hurricanes to downpours and different roof and plumbing leaks. And if the consequences of these sources go unnoticed, the problems can become a severe threat to your home. It all starts with mold and unpleasant smell before turning into a severe health hazard that causes allergies and household item damage. Addressing the problem right away is very important because before you know it, the issue will become more serious where new flooring, drywall, and furniture are required. And sometimes even new gutting is necessary, which can cost you more than renovating a whole home.
Exterior foundation problems found in Florida
Sinkholes, street creep, tilting chimneys, cracks in exterior walls are just a few signs of more significant structural problems. The type of soil in Florida and water fluctuations can easily lead to shifting house foundations. As a result, the house can lean and become unstable. This particular problem can be a consequence of the proximity of gutters and downspouts or the low maintenance of our home surroundings. If our drainage isn’t done correctly, it can lead to erosion of the soil around the house. When checking the house, pay extra attention to any ground shifting and dark discoloration of wooden elements on the home that suggest rotting material.
The first steps in addressing the problem
When it comes to foundation problems, it is not only the house structure suffering but also your possessions. The mold and moisture exposure can cause items to decay faster and develop an unpleasant odor. That’s why it’s essential to remove your things from the house as soon as you notice the issue. Make sure to store your items safely during the remediation of problems. Have your household goods transported with ease by hiring a reliable moving company. That way you won’t have to worry about potential damage to your furniture.
Prevention is the best solution
Finding a solution for all the issues mentioned above is crucial for your house structure and safety. However, preventing the possible causes of foundation problems found in Florida is even better. We can’t possibly expect to influence the climate in the Sunshine State, but preparing the foundation properly before the construction of the home can save us a lot of stressful, financial, and safety issues in the future.