Warning Signs of Garage Foundation Problems
When your garage foundation shows signs of problems urgent repair work may be in order. Foundational issues with residential houses are more common than you may have imagined. Soil conditions, bad drainage, inadequate waterproofing, leaks in plumbing, poor construction, inadequate site preparation, weather conditions and uneven settlement may all play a role in the integrity of residential foundations. Whether your garage was constructed together with the main house or as a separate unit, concerns may crop up in the course of your residency. Fortunately, most of the symptoms of foundational problems are fairly easy to spot.
Cracks in Floor and Walls
Diagonal cracks that appear around the corners of windows and doors are a clear sign of foundational problems. You may also notice cracks between the floor and wall. Floor cracks may be caused by expansion of soils underneath the foundation. This settlement pushes parts of the foundation upwards so that the height exceeds the initial elevation in some areas. The stress eventually creates cracks on the garage floor and walls. Consistently high temperatures may also cause a moisture imbalance in the soil. As the soil pulls away from the foundation, the resultant stress creates cracks in the garage floor and walls
Slopes on your garage floor are a sure indication of problems with the foundation. Trees close to the garage may play a role in distortion of the garage floor. Roots draw up much of the moisture from the ground, which causes the shrinkage of soil. This leads to an uneven settlement of the home, which can cause the floor to slope in the garage.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that your garage walls rotate outwards. This is usually linked to differential settlement, whereby the foundation settles unevenly. Soil properties and quality of construction further impact the way in which a house settles. One effect of differential settlement is the rotation of garage walls.
When garage windows loose alignment or get stuck, it may point to foundational problems. You may experience difficulty when you open garage windows that previously opened with ease. Bad drainage can lead to excessive moisture in the soils around the garage. This causes expansive soils, which are associated with uneven settlement.
Wall and Door Separation
Wall separation in different areas of the garage is a good sign of a weak foundation. Walls may separate from the garage door, windows or ceiling. You may also notice wall separation at the floors. Sometimes gaps occur between the garage door and pavement on either side of the door. The garage door may also fail to open and close properly. This indicates foundation problems. Poor site preparation may contribute to a weak garage foundation. If the site of your home wasn’t well graded, it opens the way for future foundational problems. Perhaps the soil wasn’t compacted properly. Gaps around the garage door and windows reduce the energy efficiency of the home. They also allow insects and rodents to gain access into your home.