Buying a new home is an exciting time in your life. But, before you sign on the dotted line, you should have all aspects of the home inspected on your own.
Hiring professionals to check out the plumbing, the wiring, and the foundation. Even if the current owner says they are fine or they have had them inspected, you want to make sure for yourself.
Foundation Issues to Watch For
While some foundation problems will be very obvious, there are many that will not. Here are a few things to look for when buying a new house.
Cracks in the Foundation
Hairline cracks are quite common and you shouldn’t worry too much about them. Look for larger and deeper cracks in the concrete. Check the outside of the house for cracks and other damage to the foundation.
Check around the basement windows from the outside and the inside. Look for gaps or cracks around the frames. Check the steps going up to the house for cracks, gaps, and unevenness.
Check the walls, floor, and ceiling in the basement. Make sure there are no crumbling or sagging walls or bulges in any of the walls. Small cracks appear when the house settles, but after the first few years, there should not be anymore.
If there are big dips or sagging areas of the floors inside the home, it can be a sign there are foundation problems. Be sure to check from the basement to see what is happening underneath the floors.
If you can see dips in the ceiling underneath, buckling support beams, or other damage, you might have a big problem on your hands. Check all the ceilings and floors for warped or sagging areas.
Water and Damp
Keep an eye on patches of moisture in the walls, the floors, and ceilings. Pooling water inside or outside of the foundation is coming from somewhere and not draining properly. Water can damage the foundation badly in a short period of time.
Water sitting outside of the home will seep down, making the soil wet and that causes it to move and shift. It will also cause the foundation to move, as well. Even a small shift in the foundation can cause a lot of bigger problems for the house.
Gaps Around Doors and Windows
Be sure to check all the doors and windows in the entire home before buying. Make sure there are no gaps or open spaces around the window and door frames. If the foundation is falling on one side of the house, the frames of the windows and doors will not be fitting properly.
If doors scrape across a certain part of the floor when being opened or closed, if they swing open or they don’t close properly, then there could be a big problem with the foundation.
Look for spaces around the window frames, particularly where there may be air and light coming through. One side of the house may be lower than the other and this is most often due to a sinking foundation.
Ask a Professional
The foundation of a house is built to last, so if they are crumbling, cracked, or broken there is a problem. Always take a professional foundation contractor with you to do an inspection of the foundation.
Call us at Olson Foundation Repair. Don’t second guess yourself about how deep the damage goes and don’t trust the current owner to tell you the truth. Always get the foundation checked when you are buying a new home, even if it is a newer house.