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The 5 Most Common Foundation Problems

Last modified: 2020-02-21 | Approximate reading time 3 mins

Amanda Harvey

For homeowners, the age of their home and any impending renovations are often a source of stress. Whether it's piping, framing or roofing, if your house is 30 years or older, it may be important for you to plan ahead for these types of projects.

In both urban or rural environments, foundation problems are not uncommon. Since they support the weight and structure of your home, they’re often prone to certain unforeseen problems.

5 most common foundation problems with older homes

site de construction fondations_construction site foundations

1. Cracks in the concrete

One of the most common problems that homeowners face are cracks, whether visible from the inside or the outside. Varying in length and width, some cracks are more urgent than others.

However, it’s important that all cracks are taken seriously and dealt with as quickly as possible before they lead to additional damage, such as water infiltration or mould growth. 

To learn more about how to diagnose and repair foundation cracks when they threaten to degrade the structure of your home, read our article on the subject:

2. Efflorescence

Also common on masonry, efflorescence is a pesky, but not urgent, problem. This phenomenon consists of the formation of white stains that will appear on the concrete of your foundation walls.

This problem can be easily remedied by using a brush and water, alongside a specialized product. However, if the problem comes back on a regular basis, it is best to seek the help of a professional who can advise you properly.

efflorescence sur mur béton_efflorescence on concrete wall

3. Crooked floors, doors and windows that don’t close properly

Over the years, old homes have to put up with a lot and the repercussions can be seen throughout them. At some point, you may begin to notice that your foundation has moved or shifted, and this can be done by assessing the condition of your house or apartment.

Several examples are a good indication: doors and windows that close poorly or that don’t close at all, growing cracks in the walls, increasingly crooked floors, etc. If you are not completely sure of the seriousness of your situation, a professional inspection can appease your concerns.

If it turns out that your foundation is no longer stable, you may need to replace it or install additional means of support. Here is an article on this subject:

maison qui s'effondre_house that is sinking

4- Water infiltration

If you notice visible cracks, this could point to the beginning signs of water infiltration as well as a good indication that your foundation is getting old. Although this may be caused by other factors, such as a defective French drain, it is a good idea to have everything checked.

Check out our articles about foundations and water infiltration: water infiltration signs

5. Pyrite

Composed of iron and sulphide, pyrite is a mineral found in the concrete used for the foundations of older houses. Although normally not a concern, it causes a real issue when in contact with air and water, as it swells and leads to cracks in the walls of the foundation.

Unfortunately, it can take up to 5, even 10 years after the construction of your house before you see the first indications that you have pyrite in your walls.

Do you fear that you may have a pyrite problem that affects your home and your foundations? Read our article what is pyrite?

peinture qui craque_paint that is cracking

Do other sections of your home need to be refurbished? Here's an article that may interest you:

 

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