A house is one of the most expensive investments people make and explains why a lot of attention is needed when purchasing one. As a buyer, it is easy to be overtaken by emotions that cloud your judgment during the process. However, it is imperative not to be swayed by the house’s aesthetics. It would help to look out for elements that indicate problems with the house’s foundation. According to data, 25% of US homes have an increased risk of foundation problems. Buying one of these means going the extra mile to care for the house. Here are signs to note.
- A tilted and visibly cracked chimney.
A chimney is designed to channel smoke from the fireplace and out of the house. Additionally, it allows enough air into the stove to ensure the fire burns clean. Undoubtedly, the chimney plays a vital role in controlling the burning process when the fireplace is lit. However, its positioning and physical condition can be a telltale sign of existing structural problems with the house. A leaning or titled chimney could indicate that the foundation of the house you want to buy is problematic.
Additionally, visible cracks on the chimney can also indicate similar crevices within it. All these happen because the foundation may not exactly be strong enough for the weight of the entire structure. Moreover, when a space develops between the chimney and siding, it could indicate the building has shifted or is set incorrectly. Sometimes, it could be signs of foundation drainage issues. These checks may appear too technical, but it is important to ask questions when you notice something different from the ordinary. Better yet, get experts to confirm or deny your observations.
- A visible detachment of the building from the base.
It is difficult to notice this detachment when the ground around the house is covered with concrete. However, if a lawn or garden is close to it, you can notice the detachment from the topsoil. This is called erosion at the base. When excess water constantly collects at the base of the building, it washes the topsoil away. The gradual movement of the top layer creates a detachment between the building and the ground.
This is a sign of serious drainage issues. According to experts, the likelihood of a compromised basement is even higher when this happens. If you’re still interested in buying the house, you will need a drain tile repair company to fix the problem. They will install drain systems on your home outdoors to prevent water from continually collecting around the foundation.
- Sunken porches or stairs.
Apart from the unappealing look of a sunken porch or stairs, there is more to be concerned about. When the soil beneath the building sets to make way for a strong foundation, it must withstand the pressure and weight above it. However, when the top soil quality is poor and has drainage issues, it tends to have a ripple effect on the house. That is why the porch and stairs may take on a sinking appearance. Aside from stairs, look out for the concurrent sunken appearance of windows and doors, especially around the edges, as this also indicates a foundation problem.
You have the liberty to ask questions about when the house was built and other relevant details. Finding out more about the property will help you decide whether to take it or not. Sometimes, because the seller knows these problems, the house may be priced unbelievably low. If you can take on the cost of repairs, that is your decision. However, please bear in mind that damaged foundation repairs can be costly.