One of the most exciting times in anyone’s life is when they are in the market to purchase a new home. It marks a new level of independence, financial responsibility and making a solid real estate investment. But as you’re viewing homes, before you make an offer, it’s important that you do some pretty thorough inspecting; this would include looking to see if the foundation of the house is in good condition.
If you’re not quite sure what to look for in order to make sure that it is indeed stable and you’d like some tips on how to know if a house has some foundational issues, we have listed five residential foundation problem warning signs below:
Cracks in the exterior brick of the home. Although there are a lot of people who don’t think to inspect the exterior brick of a house, they should. The reason why is because it is a huge red flag that there are foundational issues. When soil settles under a house, it can cause your exterior walls to rotate, which can result in the entire house shifting. This can ultimately put pressure on the brick, revealing small cracks that eventually grow into bigger ones.
Cracks in the interior walls of the home. Speaking of cracks, you don’t want to see them on the interior walls of a house, either. This usually means that the house’s foundation is settling. A well-built home is able to withstand a significant amount of compression stress and contractions, so if you notice cracks along the wall or ceiling, that is your cue that the house is not as stable as it needs to be.
Warped basement walls. If the basement looks like the walls are warped or bending, that’s not a good sign. This happens when moisture builds up in the soil that surrounds the home and then puts pressure on the basement walls as a direct result. That said, if you’re really interested in the house, before you pass on it, hire a foundation repair expert to look it over. It might not be quite as bad as it initially appears. However, no matter what, don’t try and fix the walls yourself. It’s definitely something that a professional should do.
A leaning chimney. There are a lot of real estate agents who market homes as being eco-friendly thanks to SEER factors like solar panels and Energy Star appliances. But honestly, none of that is really going to matter if the house you’re looking at has a leaning chimney. In fact, that is a huge indication of there being a pretty serious foundation problem. Being that brick chimneys are heavy, over time, they can sink into the soil and pull away from the structure of the home. You should definitely avoid a house that has a leaning chimney.
Windows and doors that do not close properly. As you’re walking throughout the house, don’t forget to open each window and door and close it. If they don’t close properly or they are difficult to open, that’s another foundation red flag. Gaps around windows and doors are another way of letting you know that the foundation of the house is shifting. So no matter how much you might like the house, it’s another reason to strongly consider looking for another home.