Your home is likely the most costly investment that you'll make during your lifetime. Therefore, it's wise to do everything possible to protect it. Heat, rain, poor soil conditions and insufficient drainage can all undermine your efforts to keep the foundation strong, but how do you know when you've got foundation troubles? Read on to find out two of the most significant signs that you'll need foundation work in the near future. 

Lines, Cracks and Gaps 

If you see lines, cracks or even gaps in either the flooring or on your home's walls, the foundation is likely shifting. One common reason for this is the expansion and contraction of soil over time. Poor weather conditions may also cause the foundation to shift. The size of the cracks may be as small as a few millimetres long at the start -- but they can soon grow to far greater size.

Those lines, cracks and gaps can become an even more serious problem if not dealt with. Insects can burrow into the crevices and cause even more damage to your foundation. Whilst looking for this type of problem, don't discount the tiny lines or cracks. If you don't deal with them, they'll soon be larger gaps.

Sagging or Bowing Floors

You may notice either sagging or bowing in your flooring when your foundation is damaged. Whilst it's easiest to spot this type of trouble when you have hardwood or laminate flooring, you can sometimes even see clear depressions or bulges on carpeted flooring. The sagging or bowing may be slight, but if you think you've noticed a difference it's important not to ignore it.

Both sagging and bowing are indicators that the soil below your foundation may be significantly shifting, and this is causing a chain reaction in your flooring. It usually grows worse over time, although you may notice a cycle in which the flooring changes and then returns to normal as the seasons change. This problem won't permanently abate on its own. In fact, even if your flooring becomes bowed in the summer but returns to normal in the winter, the repeated strain of these changes can compromise the integrity of all your foundation materials. In addition to the fact that it spells foundation trouble, changes in your flooring can also mean your home is a safety hazard. 

Have you noticed either of the problems above in your home? Don't delay in speaking to a foundation work contractor for help.