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Top 15 U.S. Metro Areas with Foundation Issues

January 4, 2021

Foundation problems are some of the leading sources of concern for homeowners. We’ve reviewed the top metro areas with foundation issues and provided not only a list but insight into the signs and causes of problems.

Which Metro Areas Have Foundation Issues? 

Google Trends identifies these top metro areas based on their past 12 months of search inquiries for foundation repair

Top 15 Metro Areas with Foundation Issues

  1.   Sherman, TX – Ada, OK
  2.   San Antonio, TX
  3.   Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
  4.   Tyler-Longview, TX
  5.   Kansas City, MO
  6.   Grand Junction-Montrose, CO
  7.   Wichita Falls, TX – Lawton, OK
  8.   Waco-Temple-Bryan, TX
  9.   Columbia-Jefferson City, MO
  10. Jackson, MS
  11. St. Louis, MO
  12. Abilene-Sweetwater, TX
  13. Shreveport, LA
  14. Austin, TX
  15. Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA

Top U.S. cities with the worst foundation issues

As you can see from the map, foundation issues arise in nearly every part of the country. That also means that those issues appear in all types of foundations from basements to slabs to crawl spaces. 

To provide additional perspective, this chart shows new home construction for 2019 by foundation type sorted by region.

new home construction foundation types by region

From this, you can see slab foundations are the primary choice in the South and in quite a bit of the West. On the other hand, basements are the primary choice in the Midwest and Northeast. 

These choices are related to climate, soil conditions, and water levels. For example, few basements are constructed below the Mason-Dixon line due in large part to soil conditions and water levels. 

Basements are popular in the Northeast and Midwest due primarily to winter conditions with a deep frost line. This means that foundations must be constructed below the frost line, making basement construction cost effective versus deep pilings.

Signs of Foundation Issues 

All types of foundations can develop problems. Here’s what to watch for in your home:

  • Cracks. They can appear in the foundation, exterior bricks, interior walls, ceilings, and floors. 
  • Sagging or uneven floors. Watch for a slight tilt to the flooring as well as any sagging.
  • Slab leaks. Waterline or sewer line leaks can develop from a shifting foundation.
  • Doors and windows. Doors or windows out of square or that stick or don’t close are a sure sign of a foundation issue.
  • Cabinet doors. Kitchen or bathroom cabinet doors that don’t stay closed mean they or the wall is tilting, usually driven by a moving foundation.
  • Chimney and fireplace. Watch for a leaning chimney as well as leaks and cracks around the fireplace.
  • Water in basements. This can be caused by a number of things from foundation cracks to inadequate drainage. Find out more about basement flooding
  • Mold and mildew. This can appear in crawl spaces and basements due to excess moisture and can be caused by foundation issues.
  • Rotten wood. Whether in a crawl space or basement, it’s a sure sign of excess moisture.

Causes of Foundation Issues

If you’re picking up on one or more of the signs of foundation issues, here are some of the likely causes.

  • Foundation settling. Settling of a foundation is normal within the first few years after construction. But over time, other factors can come into play that cause excess settling, resulting in damage to the foundation.
  • Exterior grading. Any rainfall needs to move away from your home before it can seep into the ground. Your landscape should be graded to help make that happen.
  • Gutters and downspouts. Gutters collect rain off the roof, guide it to the downspouts, and delivery it out to the properly graded runoff. Make sure your gutters aren’t clogged with leaves and that the downspouts are moving the water away from the foundation.
  • Weather extremes. Heavy rain and storms can lead to flooded basements and crawl spaces as well as shifting slabs. Drought can dry out the soil causing shifting that can damage foundations.
  • Tree and shrub roots. As trees and shrubs grow, if planted too close to the foundation, their roots can physically shift the foundation. They can also remove water from the soil during a dry spell or drought. This disrupts the foundation.

Call on the Experts

If you find any of the signs of foundation issues, it’s wise to call in the experts to fully assess the situation. They will use their extensive experience and expertise to develop the approach that best fits your property.

That’s where we can help with a free inspection to determine the exact causes of foundation issues and how best to fix them.