Over time, commercial building foundations often fail. While repairing a building’s foundation isn’t often cheap, letting the problem continue can lead to far more expensive repairs in the future. Here are five signs your office building might need its foundation fixed.

1) Visible Cracks

Cracks of all sizes can indicate that your foundation might be failing. While some cracks are innocuous, even hairline cracks might require service depending on where they are. Have cracks investigated by experts, such as those at T. Luckey Sons, Inc. Remember that cracks grow over time, and cracks are typically easier to address the smaller they are.

2) Shifting Ground

Water can damage a foundation, and even a small leak somewhere along your building can cause it to shift. When buildings shift, they place pressure on your foundation and can cause cracks to form. Furthermore, the foundation below a shifting building can snap, potentially leading to catastrophic damage and even health risks. If you notice any building movement, make sure you have your foundation examined.

3) Windows and Doors Shifting

A small movement in your foundation can warp your building’s frame, and misaligned doors and windows are often the first sign that your building needs its foundation examined. These changes can be subtle; if you notice a door or window doesn’t open or close the way it used to, it’s worth having your building inspected.

4) Sheetrock, Stucco or Drywall Cracks

Most cases of sheetrock, stucco, and drywall cracks are unrelated to your building’s foundation. However, staircase-like cracks, especially in stucco, might be due to foundation problems. Small cracks can be patched up, but have your foundation examined if the problem repeats over time. At the very least, make sure to give visible portions of you foundation a glance any time your walls exhibit cracks.

5) Ceiling Problems

While most ceiling problems are related to water damage in the ceiling itself or other problems, a shifting foundation can cause it to become misaligned. Sagging ceilings are a common indicator of foundation problems, but other issues can be due to the foundation as well. If your office has a chimney or other high-rising structure, check to see if it’s leaning as this often indicates a failing foundation.

While foundation troubles can be frightening to deal with, most problems can be repaired through patching or other techniques. However, it’s critical to be proactive. Small foundation problems are typically easy to repair, but they can quickly lead to far more expensive problems if they’re left unfixed.

I am a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. I went to college at The Ohio State University where I studied communications. I enjoy the outdoors and long walks in the park with my 3-year-old husky Snowball.