Warning Signs of Settling Foundation

A settling foundation that is not identified or addressed early on can become a huge, inevitable, and costly stabilization process. Cosmetic patching of open cracks is often attempted, but these cracks will reopen if the underlying aggravating factors which cause differential settlement are left unaddressed.


It’s crucial to be aware of the warning signs so you can identify the structural problems of settling foundations sooner rather than later. Luckily, they are some of the easiest structural problems to identify. Here are the top 3 warning signs to keep an eye out for:

  1. Large Interior & Exterior Cracks

When it comes to cracks around the house, inside and outside, the only ones typically worth worrying about are the large cracks with a zig-zag pattern. Fine, small cracks inside or outside are usually not an issue. Inside the house, sheetrock cracks that zig-zag and extend across nearly the whole height of the wall should definitely be checked out, along with wallpaper pulling away from the wall and cracks at the junction of the wall and ceiling.

  1. Sticking or Uneven Doors

There are many telling signs the doors in your house can give you about the state of the foundation. If your interior doors begin sticking, that tends to be a sign of foundation settling, as interior doors on a settling foundation often drag or stick at the top. Exterior doors, on the other hand, usually drag at the threshold or hand down at the top, appearing uneven. Additionally, any doors that seem very uneven, separated from the frame, and have cracks above them should be evaluated.

  1. Sagging or Uneven Floors

It’s important to be conscious of the floors in your house and whether there are any points that appear to be uneven, squeaky, or sagging. These warning signs are easy to spot and can even be tested by spilling water on the floor and noticing if it flows downhill. Uneven floor issues can be strong warning signs of settling foundation, so any issues you may notice are worth getting checked out as well. (Not to mention an uneven or saggy floor that continues to worsen can become a hazard for young children or older adults.)

If you notice any, or multiple, of these three common issues in your house, it may be time to get your foundation inspected. If left unaddressed, settlement can lead to expensive structural stabilization repairs or structural failure. Read more about the causes of settling foundation, the solutions, and the cost of inaction here, and contact us today.