Kushnick | Pallaci PLLC Attorney At Law

When Adjacent Construction Threatens Your Building’s Foundation: Recognizing the Telltale Signs of Compromise

When Adjacent Construction Threatens Your Building’s Foundation: Recognizing the Telltale Signs of Compromise

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

The thrill of living in a bustling urban environment often comes with the occasional challenge of nearby construction projects. While development can bring progress and growth, it can also pose a potential threat to nearby buildings and their foundations. As a responsible homeowner or property manager, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and recognize the telltale signs that your building foundation may be compromised by adjacent construction activities. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key warning signs you should be aware of to protect your property from potential damage.

1. Visible Structural Damage:

The most apparent indication that your building foundation may be at risk is the appearance of visible structural damage. Keep an eye out for cracks in the walls, ceilings, or floors, especially if they are diagonal or wider at the top. These are classic signs of foundation settlement or shifting, which can be triggered by adjacent construction that disturbs the soil around your building.

2. Uneven or Sloping Floors:

If you notice that your floors are no longer level or have begun to slope, it could be an alarming sign of foundation trouble. Adjacent construction activity might cause soil shifting or soil compaction, leading to unevenness in your building’s foundation.

3. Sticking Doors and Windows:

Doors and windows that suddenly become difficult to open or close properly might be indicative of a foundation issue. As the building’s foundation moves or settles, it can affect the alignment of door frames and windows, making them stick or jam.

4. Water Drainage Problems:

Adjacent construction can alter the natural drainage patterns of the area, which may redirect water toward your building’s foundation. Look out for pooling water around the base of your property, especially after heavy rain. Poor drainage can weaken the foundation and lead to long-term damage.

5. Separation of Exterior Elements:

If you notice that exterior elements, such as bricks, stones, or siding, are separating from the building, it could be a sign of foundation distress. The movement caused by nearby construction can put additional stress on the building’s structure, causing these elements to detach.

6. Cracks in the Foundation:

Inspect the foundation itself for any cracks or fissures. Even hairline cracks can be cause for concern, as they may widen over time, jeopardizing the structural integrity of your building.

7. Changes in Basement Conditions:

If your property has a basement, be attentive to any changes in its condition. Moisture seepage, mold growth, or sudden dampness are potential indicators of foundation damage caused by nearby construction activities.

8. Vibrations and Noise:

Construction work generates significant vibrations and noise. If you notice excessive vibrations within your building, particularly during construction hours, it could indicate that the adjacent work is affecting the foundation.

9. Alignment Issues in Interior Spaces:

Take note of any alignment problems within your interior spaces, such as crooked walls or sloping ceilings. These anomalies may suggest that the foundation is undergoing movement or settlement.

10. Crumbling or Flaking Concrete:

In older buildings, crumbling or flaking concrete on the foundation’s surface might signify that it has been compromised by adjacent construction.

What to Do If You Suspect Foundation Compromise:

If you observe any of the aforementioned signs or suspect that your building foundation has been compromised by adjacent construction, taking immediate action is essential to prevent further damage. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Consult a Structural Engineer: Engage the services of a qualified structural engineer to conduct a thorough inspection of your building’s foundation. They will be able to assess the extent of the damage and recommend appropriate remedies.
  2. Notify the Construction Company: If the adjacent construction project is ongoing, inform the construction company about your concerns. They may need to implement additional measures to mitigate the impact on your property.
  3. Document Evidence: Take photographs and videos of the damage, as well as any visible construction activities adjacent to your building. This documentation will be valuable for insurance claims or legal purposes if required.
  4. Implement Temporary Measures: Depending on the severity of the damage, your engineer may recommend temporary measures to stabilize the foundation and prevent further deterioration.
  5. Notify Insurance Provider: Contact your insurance provider and report the situation. Your insurance policy may cover damages caused by adjacent construction, and they can guide you through the claims process.
  6. Stay Informed: Keep yourself informed about the construction activities near your property and any updates from the construction company or local authorities.


Being proactive in recognizing the signs of a compromised building foundation due to adjacent construction can save you from costly repairs and potential safety hazards. By closely monitoring your property and seeking professional advice when needed, you can protect your investment and ensure the longevity of your building for years to come. Stay vigilant, and remember that addressing any potential foundation issues promptly is key to safeguarding your property’s structural integrity.

More To Explore

Kushnick | Pallaci PLLC Attorney At Law​

Need Help With a Legal Issue?

From contracts, to payment application disputes to construction defect claims we can help.  We can often assess your situation and your options during a free initial consultation. Contact us at (631) 752-7100 or (212) 752-7155 to schedule an appointment or contact us via the web by clicking here.