How To Spot Signs Of Foundation Problems Before You Buy A House

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If you're looking for an old home to buy and fix up, one thing you'll want to inspect before closing the deal is the foundation. Foundation damage can be costly to repair, so you want to factor the additional expense into the price of the house ahead of time or work out a deal for the owner to repair the foundation. Here are some signs that indicate the need for foundation repairs and what kind of work the home may need.

Signs To Look For When You're Viewing A House

Cracks are an indication of foundation damage, but small cracks on interior walls might only indicate settling. Cracks that follow the mortar of bricks or concrete blocks could be a sign the walls of the home are moving due to shifting of the foundation. When the walls move, they can even take on a bowed appearance or cause floors to crack or become uneven. A house that isn't level will usually have problems with the windows and doors too. They'll stick in the frames or not close properly.

Some signs of foundation damage are easy to see, such as when it affects an exterior wall, and other damage might be hidden. If you suspect foundation damage or if a home inspection turns it up, you should have the home inspected by a structural engineer to uncover the extent of damage so you can make the best decision about buying the house.

What To Do If The Home Has Damage

If the engineer determines the home has foundation damage, the next step is to find out what repairs are needed. In addition to repairing the damage, you may also have to fix the cause of the problem by installing a French drain system or putting in new gutters. Once you have an estimate of the costs, you can negotiate with the seller on the price of the home or require that the seller make repairs. Foundation repairs usually need to be done in a timely manner, so the work will be one of the first steps of your home renovation so the home is structurally sound and ready for you to remodel and move into. Repairs might involve injecting chemicals or concrete under the foundation to stabilize the soil, closing cracks in the foundation, or securing walls with beams.

There are different types of foundation repair that depend on the type of damage the home has, so working with a contractor is important to make sure the home is repaired properly. You don't want to cover up foundation damage or your home and family could be unsafe.

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6 February 2019

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