November 26, 2014

Ways to Determine Foundation Troubles

Ways to Determine Foundation Troubles

Among the biggest challenges that a first-time homebuyer has to face is to assess whether the home’s foundation is in excellent condition or not. Knowing the warning signs of foundation issues is necessary before you purchase a house as you could end up spending thousands of dollars to fix it in the future. So let’s take a look into some ways that can help you determine such problems before you decide to purchase the house.

Check the house for any cracks. This means looking up at the home’s ceilings, floors and even the corners of the windows and doors. A common sign usually seen by homebuyers is diagonal cracks found on the corners of the doors and windows, which indicate foundation settling. Sometimes, you’ll also find doors sticking or swinging wildly within their frames that again indicate a foundation problem somewhere near the malfunctioning door. You can also notice problems if the doors and windows aren’t opening or shutting properly.

Assess concrete for weakness. If a home is made out of concrete that’s starting to chip or flake, you need to poke the wall a few times in different places using a sturdy screwdriver to determine whether the foundation is still good or not. Remember, a concrete should be hard that you can’t damage it easily. However, if you manage to chip it off or break a piece of it, this means the concrete is deteriorating. Such problem is common in homes built around the 1900s.

Probe any mismatched heights. Another thing that commonly happens with weak foundations is the presence of mismatched heights. For instance, you will notice a kitchen floor higher that the dining room or the living room, wherein they will be a weird little step between the two areas.

Look into the joints of brick or concrete walls. For homes made from these two materials, you need to check the joints between each block, usually in the basement or garage as it gives you an idea about the severity of the foundation issue. Sometimes, these joints can start pulling apart and will even crack apart in a staircase shape.

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