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    Knowing how to spot foundation problems is important — whether you’re buying or home or you already own one.

    For buyers, it can mean avoiding a potentially dangerous property, not to mention one that needs some serious (and expensive) repairs. For homeowners, it can mean spotting issues early — before the problem can worsen or grow.

    Are you aware of what problems with a home’s foundation look like? Here are some telltale signs to watch out for.

    1. Uneven or drooping floors.

    Do the floors seem to sag? Do the boards look warped and out of place? These are often signs that foundation problems lie underneath. Cracked tiles (that aren’t from you dropping something on them) can be a sign as well. 

    2. Doors and windows that won’t shut.

    When the foundation shifts, it causes door and window frames to shift, too, making them harder (sometimes even impossible) to close. The changes can be subtle, so if you spot a sticky door or window — one that takes a little more effort to close than it used to — you might want to get it evaluated and ask them to look at your home’s foundation.

    3. Cracked walls or chimneys.

    If your exterior walls have large cracks or your chimney is cracked or falling, these can both be signs of foundation issues at work. 

    On the interior, some hairline cracks are normal and are just due to general settling. But if the cracks are floor-to-ceiling or appear over doorways or where walls meet, it could be an indicator there’s more serious damage.

    4. Extra humidity.

    If your basement starts feeling more humid or it takes on a musty or moldy smell, that can be a sign of issues with a home’s foundation, too — more specifically, a sign that water is seeping through foundation cracks and getting into your home. 

    5. More creepy crawlies.

    Seeing more bugs is also a sign that your foundation isn’t holding up well. If you start spotting centipedes, earwigs, and other small pests — particularly in the basement — then it might signal some sort of foundation problem.

    Call in a pro, too

    Knowing how to spot foundation issues is critical, but don’t rely on your expertise only. If you’re buying a home, invest in a professional inspection before finalizing your purchase. This can alert you to any defects — foundation or otherwise — that may be present at the home.

    If you’re worried you may have potential foundation issues on a home you already own, call a local foundation repair company and schedule a consultation. They can point you in the right direction.

    In the event your home does need expensive foundation repairs, remember you have options. Contact an Embrace Home Loans office in your area to discuss how a cash-out refinance can help you pay for it.

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