If You Spot These Signs, Your House Foundation Needs Repair or Overhaul

Crooked leaning house

Fixing a foundation problem can be costly. Using steel braces might require you to spend a few hundred dollars. Installing screws or piers could cost you at least $1,200 per pier. A new foundation could cost at least $40,000.

Before you seek for the services of house foundation contractors, be aware of some signs that need immediate professional help.


Cracks are the most common sign that a foundation repair or overhaul is due.

Shrinkage cracks. These are cracks mostly on an L-shape part of the foundation. They could post more severe damage if such cracks lengthen and continue as hairline cracks. Although they are not structural concerns, plugging them to keep adjacent spaces dry is imminent.

Stair-step cracks. Stair-step cracks, found in masonry joints, should not be larger than a quarter of an inch to be considered safe. A cause of this is if your gutter is plugged, which pushes the wall to swell.

Horizontal cracks. This is the most dangerous of all cracks and indicates that soil penetrated the foundation via a water medium, which later expands and pushes out the foundation concrete on all ends. Horizontal cracks might require a new foundation.

Other Structural Weaknesses

Walls and floors that lean or sag also signify that a foundation’s structural integrity is beginning to weaken. Most of the time, water intrusion — which brings soil or destroys concrete — is the culprit.

Stuck doors and windows. If you shut or open your door or window, and they get stuck, it could mean that the wall adjacent to them has moved inward to close the little space that makes opening or closing smoother.

Leaning basement walls. This shows that pressure coming from outside is pushing the walls inward (e.g., moving soil).

Sagging floors. When floors sag, the structural elements beneath the flooring have been worn away by either water or moist soil.

Strong foundations should not show cracks, leaning walls or sagging floors. They are well-built and secured from intruding non-foundational elements such as water or extant soil.