The foundation of your home is the arguably the most important part of your house. It is often the base from which you build your life. On this foundation you have created a home, shared memories, or are about to when you look into purchasing a house. Drought is a factor that can impact your home’s foundation, and not in a good way. As the soil around the house underground begins to dry out, it causes the earth to shift and can result in damages requiring costly foundation repair.

How can you tell if your foundation is not 100% anymore? Here are 6 signs that can indicate a problem:

Door Issues

If you’ve got doors that won’t open or close smoothly or the way they should, it’s possible the foundation has shifted and caused the door frames to move by just a few millimeters. Even though this may seem insignificant, it can be a red flag to let you know that you might be having foundation problems.

Cracks in The Walls

A crack in the wall isn’t necessarily an indication of a crack in time and space, but it could indicate that the house has settled too quickly, resulting in cracks in weak spots. Instead of calling for Doctor Who, it would be a good idea to contact a foundation repair professional to get their opinion.

Window Problems

Just as doors become difficult to open and close with a shifting foundation, the same applies to windows. Windows will get stuck in the frame, due to the movement of the window sills while the frames remain the same size and in the same position.

Gaps Under Doors

Doors generally don’t have much of a gap between the bottom of the wood and the floor, and neither do garage doors. If you happen to spot gaps it could mean the same as with windows: the ground has shifted, but the door has remained the same and now the wind whistles merrily through the spaces.

Caulk Expansion

You know that caulking between doors and windows? Well, if there’s a problem with your foundation moving, it can cause the rubbery caulk to stretch and pull on it, causing loads of problems that you won’t necessarily be able to see easily. You can try examining the caulking to see if there’s any noticeable stretching or tearing of the caulk, but an evaluation by a professional is your best bet for making sure the home you have—or want—is secure.

Unleveled Floor

It’s a lot of fun to toss a marble on the floor and watch your cat chase after it, but not so good when you realize that the reason it’s rolling away is because your floor slopes! This is a common problem for rooms with hard floors like bathrooms, kitchens and hallways.

When things are out of sight, they are often out of mind too. Your foundation is out of sight and often we don’t think about it. Foundations are just there–the strong, steady, firm base which we are able to run our lives from. We don’t think about how the shifting earth around it can cause us problems at the roots.

As the earth dries up from drought, it moves out of sight, working in the dark that can cause you a lot of trouble. If your Toronto home develops cracks in concrete foundations, it can end up causing you all sorts of problems like those listed above that you tend to just chalk up to an old house. Don’t ignore signs that there might be a problem. Get a foundation repair professional to take a look, or it could cause you more problems than you can anticipate.