Buying a home can be both exciting and exhausting. Before deciding on a home, it’s good to check for signs of foundation problems. This will keep you from losing money on expenses on foundation repairs after your purchase.
You’ll want to avoid time delays from constant renovations and housing repairs, especially if you’re planning on renting your property out. This will help you be practical with your finances, rather than wasting even more after spending a lot on your new home.
Here are some tips you can use to notice signs of foundation problems before making a big purchase:
How to Check for Foundation Problems.
1. Test doors and windows.
You can do this by opening and shutting them a few times. If you find they are jammed or have issues closing fully, this may signal a foundation issue. This is caused by the foundation of the property shifting. It results in bent frames that make it difficult to open and close windows and doors.
2. Check for sagging floors and ceilings.
If you spot either of these, you may want to forego purchasing the home. When foundation settlement happens, it causes walls to bend and floors to sag. Check for this by having a professional inspect the unit. It’s best to have a regular inspection of your current property from a foundation expert from time to time, as it is something that can occur over time.
3. Keep an eye out for mold.
If you spot mold on the windows and walls of the property, this means there’s a lot of moisture in the property. It’s essential to look at common mold growth locations to determine potential cracks and gaps in the home foundation. Mold is hazardous to the health and you must discover the source of it so you can fix it immediately.
4. Look for gaps between windows and walls.
It’s important to check for gaps between the windows and walls. If there are any, it can mean the foundation has shifted. This can result in an open space for water entry and wood rot, which can result in an insect infestation. You’ll want to avoid these long-term structural damages which will be a huge financial drain.
5. Check for bent walls.
If the walls of the property are bent, this is a common indicator of foundation issues. It means that the foundation has clearly shifted. Bulging and leaning walls move inward or outward because of expansive soil and pressure. A professional foundation expert can best address this problem.
6. Ensure the chimney is stable.
When the property’s foundation is constantly shifting, it results in an unstable chimney. This is dangerous for the people inhabiting the unit. The chimney may collapse at any given time. It’s best to be hyper-aware of this sign of larger foundation problems.
7. Look for nails popping out of drywall.
If nails pop out frequently, this may point to foundation problems. It can mean massive shifting is occurring and a professional needs to be called in to fix it.
8. Check for cracks in the wall and floors.
While cracks are common, especially due to changing temperatures, sometimes they can highlight foundation issues. Look for:
– Wide cracks from one end and narrow cracks in the other end.
– A crack that measures wider than 1/8 of an inch.
– Water leaks.
– A crack that’s horizontal or shaped at a 45-degree angle.
– Growing/ deeper cracks in drywalls and flooring.
These signs should not be ignored as they point to dangerous foundation issues.
As a buyer, you need to protect yourself to make sure your investment is worth your money in the long-term. It’s important to anticipate potential issues so you can properly allocate the money for the necessary costs. Some ways you can protect yourself as a buyer are by doing the following:
There’s nothing wrong with asking the seller many questions regarding the property. It is your right as a buyer. Some questions you may consider asking include:
- The history of the home and the year it was constructed.
- Any housing issues encountered in the past.
- If there’s any water-damage history.
- Have there been any foundation issues? Sellers are legally obligated to report this.
This way you have an idea of how much work you will have to put in to keep the property in good shape. It’s also a good way to renegotiate the home price if the preexisting issues are easily manageable after you buy.
Organizing independent inspections.
You can also have an independent inspection conducted on the property. The inspector can determine the exact issues of the property. This is important in helping you make the best decision possible since you’ll have all the necessary information.
Call Granite Foundation Repair at 972-412-2171 if you find the home you have your eyes on exhibits the above signs of foundation problems. We have a free foundation inspection that can solve a variety of foundation issues in the most cost-effective way.