A commercial building’s foundation is essential for the stability of the property. Without a solid foundation, your commercial building will start to experience a number of problems. At worst, your property may collapse.
That’s why it always pays to have it regularly inspected. Regular inspections will help reveal problems before they turn into extremely costly repairs.
In this article, we are going to share 6 warning signs of foundation problems in a commercial building.
6 Warning Signs of Foundation Problems in Commercial Properties
1. Exterior Cracks
Cracks are usually the first signs of foundation failure. Exterior cracks can manifest themselves in various forms. Be on the lookout for ‘stair-step’ cracks on bricks. Or separation of window frames from exterior walls.
Cracks are often caused by a shifting foundation. A shifting foundation, most of the time, occurs due to the expansive clay soils in North Texas. In areas like Texas, the soil is expansive. When it shrinks or expands, the foundation can shift leading to foundation damage.
2. Interior Cracks
Have you noticed gaps in the drywall? Are the moldings separating from the walls? If so, it’s a sign of trouble. Call a foundation repair specialist immediately.
Not all cracks are the same. These are the two main types: vertical and horizontal cracks. Vertical cracks are usually the direct result of the foundation unevenly settling, and these are the more common of foundation issues.
Horizontal cracks, on the other hand, are often caused by localized support failure. This may be due to a plumbing problem.
Cracks usually get worse the higher up in multiple story buildings.
3. Improperly Functioning Doors and Windows
Have you noticed lately that you require more effort to open or close your doors and windows? If so, it could be a warning sign that your commercial building is experiencing a foundation problem.
Condominiums, apartment complexes, and other multifamily properties are prone to this issue since they have many doors.
But if you notice things with your property are beginning to look warped, consider a professional inspection. It’s more likely that your property is experiencing a shifting foundation.
4. Uneven/Warped Floors
Wooden floors that have warped or buckled, linoleum that has separated or bunched up, or ceramic tiles that have cracked are all signs of foundation problems.
The floor sits directly on top of your foundation. So, if you’ve noticed any of these issues, your foundation could be the culprit.
In addition, if your floors are out of level or appear to be dipping, bowing or sagging, you should have your foundation inspected immediately.
If you can’t tell whether the floor is uneven or not, use a golf or tennis ball. On a level floor, the ball will barely move. However, if the floor is not level, it will roll. The faster it moves, the worse the problem.
5. Plumbing Issues
Institutional properties, restaurants, and apartments are known to experience plumbing issues. Often the issue is clogged pipes and low water pressure, but if they become more “subterranean,” this might be a sign of a foundation issue.
Plumbing can fail for a number of reasons. Most common reasons include:
- Not fixing breakdowns in a timely fashion. For example, if you have a septic system, a toilet that is running constantly when not in use can cause major damage. If you have a leaky faucet, it affects your sewage, among other things.
- Lack of proactive maintenance. For instance, failing to keep your sewer lines or septic tank clear or failing to prevent future clogging.
- Many sewer lines consist of PVC pipes. Sometimes the joints leak due to poor installation.
- Excessive water pressure. Anything above 80 psi. means trouble. It’ll damage your faucets, eventually causing them to begin dripping.
- Your plumbing can also fail due to age. If you have fixtures that are too old, replace them as soon as possible. Otherwise, they may get damaged and water may begin getting into your home.
- Cast iron sewer lines may break.
When the plumbing fails beneath your foundation, it can affect the soil that’s supporting your foundation. This directly leads to foundation issues.
6. Exterior Fascia Gaps
If your commercial property has visible gaps in the fascia and frieze it’s a warning sign regarding the health of your foundation. Oftentimes, these gaps are caused by high precipitation. However, if the problem doesn’t go away after a couple of days, the foundation could be the problem.
Multi-story buildings like condominiums and apartment complexes are especially susceptible to this kind of separation if the foundation has moved.
It’s possible to spot foundation problems in your commercial building early on by regularly scanning for these signs, leading to minimal repairs. You’ll also reduce repair costs and extend the lifespan of your commercial building.
If you’ve noticed any of these 6 signs, contact a trusted foundation repair company immediately.
At Granite Foundation Repair we provide foundation repair services for commercial buildings and apartments in North Texas. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 214-865-8609.