When buying a new home, you are probably in search of a property with minimal damage so that you do not have to engage in consistent repairs for the duration of your stay. Thus, it is essential to carry out foundation inspections just as you would with inspect other aspects of the home to ensure you are not buying a damaged home. However, it is not uncommon to find some potential buyers unaware of what to be wary of, as they have never been exposed to foundation damage before. Here are some of the things to look out for when purchasing a new property that would indicate impending foundation repairs.
Structural changes to the foundation walls
A good place to start when checking the integrity of the house's foundation would be on the foundation walls themselves. Although the foundation's infrastructure is designed to last for years to come, different elements such as soil changes, the ground shifting or even improper installation can lead to premature damage. Start your inspections in the basement of the house and look for signs such as:
- Hairline fractures
- Buckling of the walls
- Sloping of the walls
- Gaps in the walls caused by ruptures in the foundation
- Crumbling surfaces on the wall
Ill-fitting windows and doors
The next inspection to carry out would be how well the doors and windows work. When you close the windows, they should fit snugly into the frame without excessive effort on your part. Conversely, when you open the doors and windows, they should do so with ease. If you find that the doors and windows are showing signs of sticking when you try to open and close them, or if some of them are jammed altogether, it could be a glaring indicator of foundation problems. As the foundation becomes compromised, the doorframes and window frames will also shift from their original position, making it difficult to operate them. When checking for ill-fitting doors and windows, make a point of examining attic windows and garage doors to see if they exhibit the same problem.
Signs of water ingress
The foundation is a crucial player in preventing a property from being exposed to water ingress. Nonetheless, since the foundation is located below ground, if it has become compromised, it will also be the first aspect of the residence that will allow for water damage. Look for signs such as mould growing in the basement, musty odours in the home and peeling or bubbling paint on the walls.
Contact a foundation repair professional for additional advice.