What Are the Warning Signs of a House Sinking?

Updated February 21, 2017

A sinking home is a serious problem in need of immediate attention. Sinking homes have foundation problems. Builders can fix or stave off some problems as they arise, so do not hesitate to either fix your home or contact a qualified repair crew if you see warning signs.


Sinking homes will likely have cracks in several places. Look for cracks in the corners of windows, fireplace bricks, ceilings, drywall, floors or the foundation itself, if visible. Cracks in these areas do not always signal a sinking house, but cracks that appear in all or most of these features likely point to a sinking problem. Investigate any expanding or new cracks.

Wall Problems

Sinking houses often have several wall problems. These include curved walls or walls that lean in or out, water leaking through wall cracks and water stains on walls.

Alignment Problems

Sinking houses have problems with alignment, which is noticeable with doors' and windows' fit. Doors and windows often do not shut properly in a sinking house because the frame has shifted. Check if the doors and windows are uneven--even if they do shut, newly uneven doors and windows signal a sinking house.


Sinking houses usually have sloping floors. The slope can occur in one direction or slope in all directions toward a centre point where the house has sunk the lowest.

Soil and Water

Water that pools around the house's foundation or doesn't drain away from the house is a warning sign of a sinking house. Soil placement also is a warning sign. Soil that has separated from the foundation could indicate a sinking house.

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About the Author

Tallulah Philange has worked as a journalist since 2003. Her work has appeared in the "Princeton (N.J.) Packet," "Destinations" magazine and in higher education publications. She also has edited and produced online content for those publications. Philange holds a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from American University and a Master of Arts in communication, culture and technology from Georgetown University.