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How Do I Know if I Have Foundation Heaving?

Homeowners care a lot about their homes. They hold their property close to their heart. They put in their time, oney, and love into them. Foundation heaving can mess up your home and make you worried. It is not just about cracks in the walls but about your safety.

What is Foundation Heaving?

Foundation heaving is the movement of the soil under your house that can compromise the stability of your home. It is a serious issue that compromises the stability of your home.

Before diving into recognizing foundation heaving, let’s understand what it is. Foundation heaving occurs when the soil beneath your home’s foundation expands, causing the foundation to rise.

Foundation heaving happens for a number of reasons. Some of these reasons are excessive moisture in the soil or tree roots leading to severe structural damage. We will discuss common signs and symptoms of foundation heaving in this article. Moreover, we will also guide you in recognizing these issues in your home.

Common Foundation Heaving Signs

Detecting foundation heaving early is important for preventing further damage and costly repairs. Some common signs and symptoms to look for:

Interior Clues:

Mostly, the signs of foundation heaving are visible on the interior of your home:

Cracks in Walls and Floors:
One of the most noticeable signs is the appearance of horizontal, vertical, or diagonal cracks in your interior and exterior walls and floors.

Doors and Windows Issues:
Uneven frames and jammed doors are a sign of foundation heaving. If your doors and windows suddenly become difficult to open or close, it could indicate foundation movement.

Uneven Floors:
While walking through your home, you might notice uneven floors. This might indicate towards foundation heaving.

Gaps Around Windows and Doors:
Gaps between the frames and the walls can indicate that your foundation has shifted.

Visible Gaps:
Check for gaps or separations between the foundation and the walls or between bricks or stones in your exterior walls.

If you find any of these signs, it is the best decision to get in touch with FoundationMD to get your property inspected.

Exterior Clues

Sometimes, the signs of foundation heaving are visible on the exterior of your home:

Cracked Brickwork or Masonry:
Examine the bricks or masonry on the exterior of your house for cracks or gaps. These can be a clear indication of foundation issues.

Sloping or Settled Ground:
Walk around your property and look for areas where the ground slopes toward or away from your home. Uneven ground can signal foundation problems.

Causes and Prevention

By understanding the root causes and the preventive measures one can take, homeowners can shield their abode from the adverse effects of foundation heaving.

While many homeowners have come across the term, not all fully grasp its implications or its origins. What leads to this daunting issue? And more importantly, how can one prevent it? The answers lie in understanding the intricate dance of soil, moisture, and the structural elements of a house including the drainage system.

Foundation MD aims to navigate the intricate pathways of the causes and delve into the preventative measures one can adopt. By the end, homeowners will be equipped not just with knowledge, but with a proactive mindset, ready to tackle and prevent foundation heaving. So, let’s embark on this journey, grounding ourselves in the causes and then elevating our understanding to the realm of prevention.

Clay-rich soil:

Clay-rich soil that gets soaked during wet spells can cause heaving problems while also damaging foundation walls. Thus, soil stabilization techniques can be used to prevent soil expansion and heaving.

Excessive moisture:

Excessive moisture in the soil can cause soil expansion, leading to foundation heaving, which is why it is important to keep an eye on the soil moisture levels to avoid it.

Tree roots:

Tree roots can cause foundation heaving by growing underneath the foundation and pushing it upwards. However, regular tree maintenance can prevent tree roots from growing underneath the foundation and causing heaving.

Poor Drainage:

Poor drainage can cause water to accumulate around the foundation, leading to soil expansion and foundation heaving. Thus, a proper drainage system can prevent water from accumulating and causing soil expansion.

Monitoring and DIY Tests

While some foundation heaving signs are readily apparent, others may be subtle. Regular monitoring and a few DIY tests can help you assess the situation:

Measure Cracks:

Use a ruler to measure the width of any cracks you find in walls, floors, or ceilings. Document changes over time; if they widen significantly, it may indicate ongoing foundation movement.

Check Your Foundation’s Alignment:

Take a string and level to check if your foundation walls are straight and level. It’s a strong indicator of foundation heaving if they’re visibly out of alignment.

Use a Plumb Bob:

Hang a plumb bob from various points along your foundation walls to see if they are vertical. Any deviation from vertical can be a sign of movement.

When to Call a Professional

While the DIY tests can provide valuable clues, consulting a professional is important if you suspect foundation heaving. At FoundationMD, the experienced professional will pick the signs

of foundation issues that can sometimes be misinterpreted. Thus, our qualified foundation specialist can provide an accurate assessment. They will also recommend the appropriate repairs needed and the preventative measures to safeguard your home.

One case study involved a homeowner who noticed cracks in their walls and floors. Upon inspection, it was found that the foundation had heaved due to excessive moisture in the soil. The homeowner had pairing done to support the foundation and prevent further movement Another case study involved a homeowner who noticed sloping floors and gaps between the foundation and the walls. Upon inspection, it was found that the foundation had heaved due to
poor drainage. The homeowner had underpinning done to strengthen the foundation and prevent further movement.

Foundation Heave Repair Cost

The foundation heave repair cost can vary widely depending on several factors. This includes the extent of the damage, the type of foundation, and the methods used for repair. Here’s a breakdown of the potential costs associated with addressing foundation heaving:

Foundation Inspection:

The first step in addressing foundation heaving is to have a professional inspection. This typically costs between $300 to $500, but it can vary depending on your location and the complexity of the inspection.

Repair Method:

The cost of repairing foundation heaving depends on the chosen method. Common repair methods include underpinning, mud jacking, piering, or installing piers and beams.

Costs can range from a few thousand dollars for minor repairs to tens of thousands of dollars for extensive damage.

On average, homeowners might spend around $4,000 to $10,000 or more for foundation repairs.

Excavation and Backfilling:

In some cases, excavation and backfilling may be necessary to address severe foundation heaving. This can significantly increase the overall cost, depending on the scope of the work.

Additional Repairs:

Foundation heaving leads to secondary damage, such as cracks in walls, floors, or ceilings. Repairing these issues can add to the overall cost. The cost of repairing damaged walls or floors can vary widely but may range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

Preventative Measures:

After repairing foundation heaving, you may implement preventative measures to minimize the risk of future problems. These include improving drainage, stabilizing the soil, or addressing tree roots. Costs for preventative measures can vary significantly.


It’s essential to check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if it covers foundation heaving or related damage. Some policies may provide coverage for specific causes of foundation issues.

Foundation MD thoroughly inspects to understand the scope of the work and associated costs. Remember that addressing foundation heaving can help prevent more extensive and expensive damage in the future, making it a worthwhile investment in your home’s stability and value.


If you are a homeowner, you should be aware of foundation heaving. You can protect your home from further damages and costly repairs by seeking professional guidance from FoundationMD. We will help you in recognizing the signs and symptoms early.

FoundationMD provides regular inspections and maintenance, which is the key to ensuring the long-term stability of your home’s foundation. Always remember that an early involvement can save you time, money, and stress in the long run. Contact FoundationMD for an inspection visit and the foundation heave repair cost today. Our professional experts will give your home the attention it needs.