The Slab is Your Home’s Foundation
Whether you plan to become a property investor or you want a single family home, foundations are one thing you should always investigate. Before you make the decision to purchase a house, it necessary to get a home inspection that includes a full foundation check to avoid any hidden costs that could prove substantial. In this blog, we give you six signs of foundation problems to help you choose the right home for your family or investment portfolio.
Typical Reasons for Foundation Problems
Soil erosion is always a big contributor to uneven slabs. Homes in humid environments with moisture or drainage issues often see cracks in the foundation requiring concrete jacking or supportive piers to compensate. Earthquakes cause vibrations that can displace soil and widen existing foundation cracks. When slab supports crumble, crack, and shift, it will affect the concrete base under the home.
The corners of the slab are the first places where the foundation will settle and dip into the ground. Problems in this area might be easy to spot if the soil is jutting up while the base is visibly sinking. Other primary areas to look for these problems are any decks and porches. If these areas are suddenly digging into the dirt, then it might be an early indicator of settling or sinking.
When a house has foundation issues, there are many little signs people may not recognize. For example, a closet door that hangs up every time it rains may not seem like a big deal, but it could be a sign of an uneven foundation. When bedroom doors, windows, pantry doors, kitchen cabinets, and utility room doors creak and groan to open, then it is a good idea to do some investigating before making the purchase.
The basement is the best place to look for foundation fissures. Small openings may be easy to patch with a silicone sealant. Larger problems may mean a bigger problem is looming. If you see cracks that travel along the wall in a step pattern like a flight of stairs, then you will want to call the home inspector. This sign is a huge indicator of problems. It is important to know whether the issues are new or an existing problem is getting worse before deciding whether to invest in the property.
Does the soil mound up around the edge of the home? Are there areas of dirt jutting up against the house? These signs might mean the house is settling too quickly. A licensed contractor or home inspector can get to the heart of the issue to let you know if it is a problem worth worrying about and fixing right now.
Leaning Roof Structures
When you see a chimney not sitting right on the roof, it might be a problem with the brick surround or warping in the roof. It could mean the home is leaning to one side or the other. If you see this problem while touring a property, then it is important to do some more investigating.
Uneven Floors or Warped Walls
Can you set something round on the floor and watch it roll away? If so, then you may have problems with the slab settling. The problem could be from improper installation of flooring, the home needing renovations, or moisture issues, so buyers should direct any questions to a reputable local contractor who can further inspect the issue and bring the true situation to light. The decision to purchase a home goes way past simple curb appeal.
Drawbacks of Concrete Foundations
Closer proximity to pests is one concern with houses on slabs. Maintaining a comfortable home temperature is not always easy with this option. Cracks can worsen quickly and be costly to repair with concrete slabs. Another disadvantage is finding space for home systems like the HVAC unit.
Advantages of Purchasing a Home on a Slab
Homes with a slab are better at keeping pests out of the home. Spiders, ants, and termites are not able to penetrate concrete like they can with wooden structures like a crawlspace. There are usually fewer steps to climb at homes with foundations versus houses on top of wooden or metal basements. Another huge perk of concrete slabs is they are affordable. Flooding is less likely a concern with concrete slabs. Homeowners who opt for this style house are safer from radon.
Before you sign a contract for a new home, it is always a good recommendation to get a home inspection. Be sure to pay attention to signs of slab problems. Checking out the inspection report can help you determine whether a property is worth your time, effort, and money to maintain. If you feel the problem is too big to handle when looking at older homes for sale, then try searching for newer homes with a local trusted Realtor today!