Signs That Your Home Has Foundation Problems

water damage in cement foundation

Foundation problems in your home often create menacing signs because they can look like normal and almost common. For instance, are those cracks on bricks or those tiny cracks on your basement wall normal or do they indicate that your home is already starting to sink into the earth?

Some of these signs may even occur far from the foundation itself, including doors that have gone out of the square or window or door frame that separated from brick. More often than not, only professionals can determine if your home has foundation problems that should be addressed sooner than later.

Check out the following warning signs of problems with your home’s foundation. 

Exterior Cracks

Yes, those tiny cracks on the steps or exterior walls shouldn’t cause any worry at all. However, large exterior cracks with zigzag pattern could indicate that your foundation has some issues. You should check bricks protruding from walls or any cracks on bricks for that matter.

Uneven Floors and Doors Out of Square

Not a lot of houses are plumb after several years of settling. But, you have to take a close look at doors that are out of square with cracks on the walls on top of them. Many owners of sound houses may also notice uneven floors that can be easily checked by spilling some water. If it rolls in just one direction, you know there is a valid reason to have it checked. You must also be worried if your floor’s gradient is over 1 or 2 inches for every 15 feet. Sagging floors are a sure sign of a sinking foundation.

Interior Sheetrock Cracks

You should suspect a foundation problem if there are zigzagging interior cracks, running almost the wall’s height. You might want to call in a contractor if your wallpaper has started to pull away from the wall or there are noticeable cracks on the spot where the ceiling and wall are joined.

Window Frame or Door Frame Separation from Brick

If your door or window frame has started to pull away from the brick wall, this is a serious sign of a foundation problem in your home.

Rotten Wood on Beams and Piers

Beams and piers with rotten wood are signs of different issues aside from a bad foundation alone. For this reason, you need to look into all of these immediately. It might mean that there is an extremely high humidity in the crawlspace or basement. This can also happen after a flood or carpenter ants and termites might have attacked the beams and piers.

Tile Cracks

Tiles that have been fired at high temperatures tend to be quite hard but these are also brittle at the same time. There are numerous reasons behind tile cracks. If you notice a lot of tile cracks in your bathroom, kitchen, or other rooms where they are installed, it might be an indication that your foundation is in trouble.

If you have one or more of these warning signs, make sure you contact foundation repair contractors in Akron, Ohio to help you address your home’s foundation problems before worse turns worst.

How to know if your septic tank needs pumping

man pumping septic tank

Septic tank service should be done on a regular basis to avoid unhygienic conditions that might expose your family to danger. Septic tanks should not be overloaded, and preventative measure should be put in place to reduce damage to the tanks and the whole sewer system.

The following tips will help you know when your tank requires being pumped.

Know the Size of Your Septic Tank

Establish the size of your septic tank and the number of people it is serving to calculate how long it will take to fill. The calculation will give a precise estimation of how long it will take before pumping can be required.

Conduct Checks

Most septic tanks are designed such that you can visually check to see the volume of their content. Ensure regular visual checks to avoid accumulation of solid waste. As a rule, solid waste should not occupy more than 30% of the septic tank. Septic tanks can also be fitted with intelligent performance surveillance technology that gives warning when critical levels are reached. Conducting the above measures will help you avoid the last minute rush when the septic tank is already full and urgently requiring septic tank pumping.

Sewer Back-Flows

When the full capacity of your septic tank has been reached, sewer will start flowing in the backward direction. Drains on the lowest position in your house will first be affected. You should look for prior warning signs of a full septic tank such as slow drains before the situation reaches back-flow since it is quite unhygienic.

Water Collecting

Your lawn will have water collecting around the septic systems drain field even when there has not been substantial rain. Accumulation of solid wastes clogs the piping system forcing sewer water to escape on the surface.


Septic tanks contain living organisms that use oxygen to break down waste. When full, the microorganisms suffer from lack of oxygen to enable them to multiply and continue the breakdown process. At this moment the septic tank will start emitting foul smell since the aerobic reaction is not taking place.

Slow Drains

When your drains start experiencing a reduced speed in the evacuation of wastewater at multiple locations, it should act as a precursor that the septic tank is full.

For help with septic cleaning service in Syracuse, contact Syracuse Septic Service.

Solving foundation problems caused by soil expansion

Expansive soil is the clay that contains absorbed water in it. The more the water the more the pressure impact created on a building. The impact can create cracks on walls, floors and also on home foundations.

Foundation problems come as a result of moisture content drying out quickly. Shrinkage causes damage subsidence and fissures on the soil. The fissures facilitate deep penetration of water and hence more pressure on the structures. The damage occurs at a low pace and it is very difficult to discover it at its initial stages. Even poor construction can easily be damaged quickly by soil foundation problems.

Foundation problems due to soil expansion

Some clay minerals like smectite, beidellite, attapilgite, nontronite, and bentonite are very expansive. These soils in the presence of moisture are very expansive in the content of water and some salts. Expansive minerals have a high potential of expanding at a high rate. Damage of the soils is also triggered by the moisture content changing. When moisture content varies from one level to another, the expansion changes with time.

cracked foundation

Identifying expanding soil

It may take a long time for one to realize there are cracks in your walls or floors when there is a soil foundation problem. Some sign happening to your structure will alert you soon when you see them. When you see the cracks appearing on the walls, floors and doorways, it becomes.Open cracks on ceramic tiles is another sign to note. When your windows and doors start jamming, sticking and opening, it presents a challenge. During the foundation of a building, the soil potential can be determined by soils that have colloidal clay minerals. These soils have sandstones, clayey, siltstone, and marls. The dry clayey soils heave under the low applied pressure and it collapses when the pressure is very high. Pressure can also be exerted on pavements and footings and hence cracks occur. Engineering guidance is also necessary to get the right information of the landscape and the quality of the soil.

Preventing soil expansion to foundations

To avoid future problems, it is advisable to control the issue before deciding to build a structure. You can look for a professional engineer who will be able to analyze the soil content and decide whether the place is suitable for a structure. A soil survey will determine the soil expansion features and type. A soil survey that indicates extreme expansion needs to be well analyzed. When building a site it is advisable to do an observation on the field and check if the soil is cracked.

Field observation also requires you to check cracking walls that are caused by soil movement. When constructing an area it is advisable to ask experts about the soil history condition of the surrounding areas. Mitigation measures on soil expansion can be implemented by the construction department within your area.

In order to test soil expansion you can look for civil engineers that have guidelines on site preparation, recommendation on slab and foundation design and soil bearing values.Replacing expansive soils can be replaced by non-expansive soils. You can also mix non-expansive soils and expansive soils together hence lowering the expansion index. Slabs and footing during construction should be well strengthened. Gravel can be added under the slabs when constructing to avoid soil movement.

A foundation repair contractor in Syracuse, NY can be contracted to avoid future problems of buildings collapsing. Also, try to identify the type of soil that is within your construction site.

5 Signs You Need A New Toilet

A toilet is a necessity in any household, therefore, it is important that it functions properly. There are several ways you can know if your toilet is starting to deteriorate and that it is time to replace it. If you have any questions concerning your toilet, it is important to contact a plumber to inspect it.

The toilet clogs or overflows

Sometimes if hygiene products are flushed or too much toilet paper is used, a toilet can clog and overflow. This can result in a terrible mess to clean up or even damage if water overflows onto the floor. You only want to be alarmed if you are experiencing frequent stoppages while flushing a few times a week because this is abnormal and you can only use a plunger for so long. Eventually, you may need to replace your existing toilet or have your plumbing inspected, as recurring clogging and overflowing is not an issue you or your house guests want to constantly experience with every flush.

Persistent running

There are two main reasons for persistent running in toilets: damaged flapper or the floater in the water tank. Usually these two can be fixed but if the problem continues then you will have to invest in a new toilet. This is not an issue you want to ignore because a running toilet uses up a lot of water that can, in turn, cause a rise in your water bill. On average, a running toilet uses up to a gallon of water in thirty seconds creating a huge waste and unnecessary cost for you in the long run.

Feeble flush or zero flush

If your toilet flushes incompletely or not at all, you may need to purchase a new one. A toilet should not require multiple flushes to clear away matter nor should it produce no flush at all. Sometimes as toilets age grime can develop that becomes impossible to clean off and can play a role in your toilet not flushing well or not flushing at all.


A leaky toilet is not something to overlook because it could lead to damaged floor if it leaks bad enough. Usually the cause of a leak is a crack in the toilet itself. Small cracks in the porcelain can grow over time and become a source of a leak. It is a good idea to check your toilet when cleaning it to ensure that it has no hairline cracks. However, if you do notice any cracks in it, it may be time to replace your toilet.

Scuffs or scratches

A well-used toilet can develop marks that make it look unattractive and aged. Instead of excessively scrubbing your toilet in an attempt to remove any irremovable stains or scratches, it may be the perfect time and worth the money to buy a new one. A new toilet can last fifteen years if properly maintained.

A good toilet is a staple in every household and it must work properly to get the job done. Make sure you frequently check your toilet or keep an ear out for any odd noises coming from it or if you notice its flush is deteriorating, and always be sure to call a plumber if you have any questions regarding your plumbing.

Design Ideas For Small Kitchens

A small kitchen has its advantages: it’s nice and cozy and everything you need is always close at hand. The problem is, most design ideas cater to bigger kitchens, which limits your sources of inspiration.

You may be lacking space, but there’s no reason why you can’t make your big design ideas a reality. Small kitchens can be just as functional, efficient and aesthetically stunning as more spacious ones – all it requires is a little innovation.

Getting your kitchen design right the first time

Designing a small kitchen is all about cheating the eye. The first thing to do is make use of the vertical space at your disposal. Tall, slim cabinets with visible legs give the illusion of space and drawers can be stacked to provide ample storage space.

An assortment of freestanding appliances can make your kitchen look ‘busy’ so instead opt for built-in appliances which give small kitchens a neat, streamlined finish. A muted color scheme is not only soothing but also an effective way to make a room look bigger. Very dark tones or too much color can overpower a small room so if you want to give it more personality, incorporate some bright accessories into your kitchen design.

Another way to add character and charm to your cozy kitchen is to hang up pots and pans. Long runs of wall units can make a small kitchen feel hemmed in, so hanging up crockery or opting for open shelving is a great way to open up the room.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to give the illusion of space is to make a room lighter. This can be achieved by adding a skylight or ‘undressing’ the window; keeping it free of clutter. Gloss units, flooring, and cabinets with glass fronts reflect light and make a small room feel far more spacious.

Bright kitchen worktops

This rule of thumb applies just as much to worktops as it does to windows. Work surfaces with a shiny or high-gloss finish will help make your kitchen feel light, bright and airy. You can exaggerate this effect by installing lights under the counter.

Deeper kitchen worktops can accommodate more appliances and increase surface area so you’ll have more space to work on.

Rather than framing your kitchen with worktop counters, why not utilize the central space and install an island? This is a good way to store all the big cooking essentials and still have plenty of room to work on that new recipe. It is also worth bearing in mind that a sink with a glass cover can double up as extra prep space.

Goodbye to hassle: introducing the  kitchen planner

If you think you know what you want but aren’t 100% sure how to make your idea work, there are tools at hand to help make your kitchen dream a reality. Using a kitchen planner as an online tool gives you the opportunity to design and preview your design before you give it the green light, helping you get creative whilst avoiding expensive mistakes.

Starting with a blank room or ideas from expert designers, a kitchen planner allows you to specify the exact dimensions of the room. Drag and drop units and components, position them as you see fit and add the finishing touches to get an accurate evaluation of your design.