Your home's foundation, like the name would suggest, supports the entirety of the rest of your home upon it. Therefore, any form of damage to your foundation can quickly spread into more serious problems throughout the rest of your home. Thankfully, there are a number of warning signs that you can watch for to determine if and when you may need foundation repair so that you can fix issues before they become complex and expensive.
Windows and Doors
Keep an eye on your window and door frames throughout your house. If your foundation has become damaged, it is likely going to shift somewhat, creating an uneven surface that causes hairline cracks to develop in the frames of both your windows and doors. Keep an eye on these cracks: while they can be caused by superficial damage, if they widen, there is likely a more serious problem at work. Further, you should also ensure that your windows and doors can open and close properly, as if the foundation of your home shifts, your windows and doors can shift with them, and fail to fit easily into their frames.
Check around the outside of your home and within your basement for any pooling or standing water. This can manifest itself through streaks on wallpaper and paint, warping wood, mold, mildew, and moss growth or a simple puddle sitting in the soil near the side of your home. This points to improper drainage around your home, which is usually an issue with the foundation that comes as the foundation shifts or cracks into pieces. If you notice pooling water around your home, you should get into contact with a foundation professional immediately, as water damage can quickly create additional problems like excessive mold growth which are serious health hazards and expensive to clean up.
If you have exposed concrete on the side of your home or in the basement, examine it for cracks. While small, hairline cracks in the concrete is likely just superficial damage, serious cracking that has spread over a significant portion of the concrete is almost always indicative to issues with your actual foundation. The more severe the cracking is, the more severe your foundation issue is, and the more important it is for you to contact a professional as soon as possible. In a similar vein, you should keep an eye on the flooring in the basement: if the material has begun to crack and buckle, it is likely that the foundation is shifting underneath it.