Foundation Issues: How to Fix and Prevent Costly Damage

Our homes provide us with necessary comfort and safety, we can all agree that keeping it in the best possible condition is absolutely essential. Due to this emotional attachment, our house becomes our home and we don’t just want it to look good, we also want it to be in good condition. When it comes to your home’s foundation, the significance of it cannot be overstated. We focus a lot on the exterior of the home, and as a result, we end up forgetting this important aspect. It’s crucial to address any issues on time to prevent further damage and costly repairs. Foundation problems are very common and can lead to a variety of issues, such as cracks in the walls, sinking floors, and water damage. The tricky thing with foundation issues is they often go unnoticed and lead to bigger problems in time. So, if you think your home’s foundation needs some attention, don’t ignore the signs!

In this guide, we will discuss common foundation issues (even the subtle ones), tips for preventing damage, and DIY techniques for repairing foundation cracks. So if you’re unsure about tackling foundation repairs on your own, we’ll also help you understand when it’s necessary to hire professional foundation repair services.

Common Issues That Require Foundation Repair

There is no single reason for foundation problems, as they can arise due to various factors. These factors include soil composition, moisture levels, and natural settling. Here are some common issues that indicate your foundation needs repair:

Foundation Cracks: Cracks in the foundation are an early indication of underlying issues. They can be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal, and they may vary in size. We often ignore minor cracks, but if left unaddressed, these cracks can lead to water intrusion, which weakens the foundation further. And you know what happens after that, right? Bigger problems!

Sinking or Settling Foundations: If you notice uneven floors or doors and windows that stick, it could also be a sign of a sinking or settling foundation. This occurs when the soil beneath the foundation shifts or compresses, causing it to sink.

Bowed Basement Walls: Bowing or leaning basement walls can result from hydrostatic pressure. In simple words, hydrostatic pressure is the pressure that is exerted by a fluid at equilibrium at a given point within the fluid due to the force of gravity. So it occurs when the soil expands due to moisture and puts pressure on the foundation walls. This can lead to cracks, leaks, and instability.

Water Intrusion: Excessive moisture in the basement or crawl space can cause a range of issues, including mold growth, wood rot, and foundation damage. Poor drainage systems, plumbing leaks, or high water table levels cause water intrusion.


Preventing Foundation Damage

Homeowners who neglect their foundation issues face greater damage as they ignore the subtle signs in the beginning. While some foundation issues are unavoidable, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of damage to your home’s foundation:

Maintain Proper Drainage:
 Ensure that the soil around your foundation slopes away from the house to prevent water from pooling near the foundation. When water is present, it causes the soil to expand, putting stress on the foundation walls. So it’s crucial to regularly clean gutters and downspouts to ensure proper water flow.

Manage Moisture Levels: Keep an eye on the moisture levels in your basement or crawl space. Use a dehumidifier to control humidity, fix any plumbing leaks promptly, and consider waterproofing measures like installing a sump pump.

Inspect and Maintain Plumbing: Regularly inspect your plumbing system for leaks and fix them promptly. Water leaks can contribute to foundation damage by saturating the soil beneath the foundation.

Ensure Proper Grading: It is very evident that if the landscaping of your property slopes towards your house, the foundation walls are highly susceptible to damage. Also, proper grading ensures that water does not reach the base of your foundation. So proper grading is also a very important aspect when it comes to preventing foundation damage.

Monitor Tree Placement: Avoid planting trees or large shrubs too close to your home’s foundation. Because the tree will eventually start taking moisture out of the soil in dry weather, and if these roots are near your home, they can cause the soil to expand and contract the base of the foundation. It is always recommended to plant trees away from the structure of a residential property.

Tips for Fixing Foundation Issues on Your Own

Can we fix foundation issues on our own? Well, while some minor foundation issues can be handled by ourselves, it’s essential to exercise caution and seek professional help if you’re unsure. Here we have some tips for tackling common foundation issues:

Filling Foundation Cracks:
 Small cracks in the foundation can be filled with epoxy or polyurethane crack sealants. The first step is to clean the crack, and then apply the sealant according to the manufacturer’s instructions. And then give it some time to cure and see if you were able to fill the foundation cracks successfully.

Addressing Minor Settling: If your foundation has minor settling, you can try to lift it using a process called slab jacking. This involves injecting a grout mixture beneath the slab to raise it back to its original position. Basically, the purpose of slab jacking is to raise a slab in place permanently.

Stabilize Bowed Walls: For minor bowing or leaning basement walls, you can install steel braces or carbon fiber strips to provide added support and prevent further movement. This method does not really straighten a bowed wall, but it secures it and prevents any further movement.

Apply Waterproofing Sealants:
 Applying waterproof coatings or sealants to your basement walls can also help prevent water intrusion and protect your foundation.

But again, most of these tips are for preventing further damage. What to do if the damage is already done?

When to Hire Professional Foundation Repair Services

When you are trying to repair the foundation of your home, you have these two options. Either you try to do it yourself or you hire a contractor to do it. While some foundation repairs can be handled on our own, there are instances where it’s best to seek professional help if:

  • You’re unsure about the severity of the foundation issue or how to properly address it.
  • You notice extensive foundation cracks, significant sinking or settling, or severe bowing of basement walls.
  •  You’ve attempted DIY repairs, but the issue persists or worsens
  • Your home has a complex foundation system or unique structural challenges.


Remember, taking care of your foundation now will save you from more extensive and expensive repairs in the long run. Hiring a foundation repair contractor is the most favorable option for addressing your home’s foundation issues, as we know the last thing you want to do is waste your money on a foundation repair that doesn’t hold up over time. With our top-notch foundation repair services, you can be sure that the foundation of your home will stay intact for decades without any trouble.

At KCS, we offer a diverse range of foundation repair services tailored to suit every home and budget. If you think your home is in need, contact us today for a complimentary consultation. We’re always happy to help!