Do you feel an odd sense of vertigo as you walk down your hallway due to your stupid sloping floor or out-of-square doorframes? Are there cracks in your drywall, stucco, or the base of your foundation? If you want to know the primary signs and symptoms indicating that your home requires leveling ASAP, this article is for you.
Our team has helped thousands of homeowners reclaim their homes via house leveling by push pier and helical pier underpinning. We understand the struggle in trying to determine if a home needs to be leveled. We’re here to educate. We’re here to help.
This article outlines the primary signs and symptoms signifying it’s time to level your home and points you in the right direction for home leveling repair. There is also an opportunity at the end of the article to book a free Dalinghaus foundation inspection in SoCal and Arizona.
So, let’s dive in –
Top 3 Signs It’s Time to Level Your Home Now
1. Sloping Floors
If you have sloping floors, you have a problem. Sloping and bowed floors are a dead giveaway your home is unlevel. Sloping floors can result in vertigo, trip hazards, and the floor pulling away from the wall. Sloping floors are the most significant symptom of an unlevel home.
Some tilt is minute and impossible to detect empirically. However, a trick you can utilize to diagnose severe floor slope is to place a marble onto the floor and see where and how fast it rolls. Following the trajectory of the sphere will indicate the direction of the slope.
As a general rule of thumb, floors are only as level as the foundation beneath them.
There are many different causes of sloping floors, but expansive soil (such as clay, silt, and loam) tends to be the primary culprit.
Expansive soil is weak, non-load-bearing soil that cannot sustain the heavy load of a home. As a result, the foundation sinks/settles into the incompetent soil. Foundation settlement exerts a tremendous amount of force up and into the foundation, pressure which is then transferred into the framing, walls, and floor of the home.
Your floor may be sloping due to foundation settlement, poor post and pad health, or joist issues. To learn about the primary causes of sloping floors, read our article What Causes Sloping Floors (3 Common Reasons for Unlevel Floors).
2. Sticking Doors and Windows
If you have doors or windows that are difficult to open and close, you may be dealing with an unlevel home. If you have doors and windows that are difficult to open due to crooked or out-of-square framing, then the odds are high you’re dealing with foundation settlement.
Some telltale characteristics of sticking doors and windows include:
- Cracks emanating out from the corners of the doorframe/window frame
- A new, widening, or significant gap between the floor and bottom of the door
- Sloping and or bowed floors directly adjacent to the sticking door/window
- The doorframe/ window frame looks out-of-square to the naked eye
Sticky doors and windows can prove dangerous during a fire or other emergency where a quick escape is imperative.
Foundation settlement can significantly warp your door and window frames, making them nearly impossible to open and close. However, some people attempt to fix this issue using the wrong methods. To learn how NOT to fix your sticking doors, read our article How Not to Fix Your Sticking Doors (Foundation Settlement Complications).
In short, if your doors and windows are difficult to open and close and the frames are warped, odds are high that you will need foundation leveling.
3. Drywall and Stucco Cracks
If you have cracks in your drywall and/or stucco, these fractures may be due to an unlevel home (particularly if found in conjunction with sticking doors/windows and sloping floors).
As mentioned above, foundation settlement pressure is transferred up through the foundation, into your home’s framing, and into the wall/ceiling – creating fractures.
Drywall cracks to look out for:
- Hairline ceiling cracks
- Straight ceiling cracks
- Spiderweb ceiling cracks
- Cracks between the ceiling and wall
Stucco cracks to look out for:
- Hairline cracks
- Foam trim cracks
- Cross-patterned cracks
- Diagonal line cracks
To learn more about cracks in your home, be sure to peruse our article Why Do I Have Cracks in My Home (Top 6 Residential Cracks).
Is Push Pier and Helical Pier Underpinning Right for You?
In this article, you learned about the 3 primary signs and symptoms that point to an unlevel home: sloping floors, sticking doors/windows, and stucco/drywall cracks. If you have all three of these signs simultaneously, your house almost definitely requires home leveling.
If your home is suffering from an unlevel foundation due to foundation settlement, steel pier underpinning is probably the best solution to relevel your home. To learn more about steel pier (push pier and helical pier) underpinning.
Dalinghaus Construction Inc. has been in the foundation repair game since 2015 and we have over 100 years of combined foundation repair experience. We believe educated homeowners make the best repair and financial decisions.
If you live in Southern California or Arizona and would like to book a free Dalinghaus foundation inspection, click the link below.