DIY Foundation Inspection

We are in a stay-at-home time these days and it gives us all extra time to finally build that shelf or clean the closet, etc. While you’re at, you can do some simple things to self-inspect your home’s foundation before you call for professional consultation and estimation. 

Physical Check List


Mold, Moisture, and Poor Drainage 

Water damage is an early warning sign of foundation issues. It doesn’t take heavy rainfall or a high water table under your home to damage your foundation. Of course, they are big factors, however, there are many factors that can damage your foundation and ultimately lead to water damage to your home. Here are some ways you know water is intruding your basement/crawlspace and damaging your foundation. 

  1. Musty smells, visible mold growth.
  2. Sweating floors, walls, and windows. 
  3. Moisture dwelling bugs like The Brown Recluse, Centipedes, Silverfish, Earwigs, Termites, Slugs, etc. 
  4. Water pooling in corners or alongside the walls. 
  5. Efflorescence build-up on walls interior or exterior. 
  6. Paint bubbling/chipping off walls

All of these examples could be signs of water damage. There are also exterior signs as well. 

  1. If your home is surrounded by standing puddles that do not drain properly after the last rainfall, leaving your yard like a swamp for weeks, this may be an indication of poor drainage.
  2. Another symptom is extreme changes in the water composition of your surrounding soil if your yard goes from wet to dry or vice versa too quickly. The expansive soil can place tremendous pressure on your home’s foundation. 

Buckling/Leaning Walls, Windows/Doors Not Closing Properly

  1. Do your windows or doors no longer close, but they used to? 
  2. Do supportive beams appear to lean or curve?
  3. Do floors slope or buckle under weight (or more than normal)
  4. Do your notice leaning or bulging in your interior/exterior walls? 

Crumbling & Chipping Concrete  

When inspecting your home’s foundation, do you notice any concrete crumbling or chipping? his doesn’t always mean foundation damage, nevertheless, it is still a cause for concern. Well-mixed concrete is designed to last. True, seasonal expansions & contractions may result in some degradation. If you can chip away at your foundation or basement/crawlspace walls can be easily chipped away with nothing but a screwdriver, it is best to contact a professional to inspect. 

Cracks, Fissures, & Ruptures  

  1. Vertical cracks on interior/exterior walls
  2. Staircase cracks that zigzag
  3. Cracks that extend into the base of the foundation floor
  4. Horizontal cracks on foundation walls
  5. Non-uniform cracks that are wider at the bottom or top?
  6. Cracks in which one edge juts out from the rest of the wall or floor.