How Can Foundation Problems Cause Roof Damage?

By Jim Oursler, the owner of Granite Repair Foundation


How Can Foundation Problems Cause Roof Damage? It may seem odd, but the roof is one of the first parts of your home that gets affected when your foundation moves. Your roof gets damaged because it’s farthest away from the foundation and even small changes down there will be amplified the higher you go.


Sure, there are a number of other reasons that can damage your roof as well. For example, water damage, faulty gutters, birds and animals, inclement weather conditions, trees, and debris.


However, you’ll know you have foundation problems when your roof appears saggy, bowed or wavy. When either of these happens, it’s a sure sign that your foundation has shifted, isn’t level or has been damaged.


To sum it up, if your foundation moves, so does your roof!

In this article, Jim Oursler, the owner of Granite Repair Foundation, shares with you 6 foundation problems that can cause roof damage. This will help you nip them in the bud before they do too much damage.


Foundation settling

Even expertly crafted buildings can sometimes settle after construction is completed. The leaning tower of Pisa is an example of a settled building. Generally, foundation settling occurs when the weight of your home sinks into the ground. This often happens in areas that have expansive clay soils like Texas.


Expansive clay soils contain minerals such as smectite clays that are capable of absorbing water. During the rainy season, they absorb the water and swell. Likewise, during the dry season, they lose the water and shrink. When shrinking occurs, the affected house will settle into the ground. This will, in turn, cause your roof to sag over time. Aside from causing your roof to sag, your doors and windows may begin to jam as well. They may not open and close as they should.



How Can Foundation Problems Cause Roof Damage? Foundation upheaval


Foundation upheaval is the opposite of foundation settling. Whereas settling occurs downwards, upheaval occurs upwards. You’ll know your home is experiencing this foundation issue if you begin noticing small bumps on your floor.


Just like settling, upheaval is caused by the same problem – expansive clay soils. During periods of high moisture levels, your foundation will “heave” and can cause your structure to “lift”. When this happens, your roof may also get affected as well.


Foundation levelness

Foundations should ideally be level. If yours isn’t, it’s a sign of trouble. Call a foundation repair specialist immediately. Remember, with foundation issues, the longer you take to get the issue rectified, the worse the problem becomes. And, the worse it gets, the more expensive it becomes to fix.


While fixing a foundation problem certainly requires a pro, checking whether your floors are level is a simple DIY task. You’ll need either a golf or a tennis ball for this purpose. When you place it on a level floor, it will barely move. But if the floor is not level, the ball will roll. The faster it rolls, the greater the problem.



How Can Foundation Problems Cause Roof Damage? Foundation Cracks

Cracked foundations can lead to framing and roof issues, and problems with doors and windows. When the soil beneath your foundation moves or shifts, your foundation may crack.

If the movement or shifting is sufficient enough, your roof may appear saggy or humped.

Not all cracks are created equal, though. Some are more serious than others. A vee-shaped crack is a good example of a serious crack. As the name implies, this is a crack that is wider at the top than at the bottom.




Tree roots

Tree roots can either directly or indirectly cause roof damage.



Branches can snap off in high winds, or easily break under the weight of snow. When this occurs, smaller branches can rip off shingles, while the larger limbs can break or put holes in your roof.



Trees need water and nutrients to grow. When planted too close to your home’s foundation, the roots may absorb too much soil moisture from your home’s foundation. Over time, this will cause the soil surrounding your foundation to shrink. This will, in turn, cause your house to settle, resulting in damage to crucial structural components such as your roof.


As a general rule of thumb, plant trees at least 10-15 feet from your home’s foundation.



How Can Foundation Problems Cause Roof Damage? Drainage

Water is the number one cause of foundation problems. When you have poor water drainage, foundation problems are almost always bound to occur at some point.

As such, pay attention to where your gutters and downspouts discharge. If it is too close to the foundation, you should be worried, more so if you live in an area with expansive clay soils.

The water will cause the soil to expand, thereby leading to foundation lifting. And guess what will happen next? Your roof will get damaged as well. The roofline may have a noticeable hump or a dip.


Foundation problems usually go hand in hand with roof problems. Although far apart, they are structurally connected. And since the foundation is the load-bearing portion of the structure, if it gets affected, other parts like the roof will surely get affected too.



Granite Foundation Repair


Tree Information Reference





Main Office


4101 Airport Fwy, Suite 209

Bedford, TX 76021

Dallas Office


4951 Airport Pkwy, Suite 600

Addison, TX 75001