Buyer Beware: The Dangers of Buying a Home that Needs Foundation Repair

You have been searching for months to find your perfect dwelling and inspections have revealed that your dream home has foundation issues.  Do you bail? Before you decide, hire a professional structural engineer that will inspect and provide an analysis of the integrity of the home’s foundation.  This consultation will provide you with the issues and what needs to be done in order to bring the home to a more solid and stable foundation.

In most cases, these problems can be dealt with, but not without time, cost and possibly additional stress added to the whole buying experience.  The cost of the repair depends, of course, on the extent of the structural damage that has been uncovered.  Cracks of a certain width, can be patched costing a few thousand dollars.  Other minor issues can be solved by replacing gutters and downspouts or grading the property.  However, if major issues are uncovered, more extensive repair will need to be undertaken.  This could involve lifting the house and installing new foundation piers to reinforce and level the foundation out.  The price of this bill could go up hundreds or thousands.

Don’t forget that with foundation problems comes additional related damage as well.  There will likely be other noticeable problems in the home.  Once the foundation is repaired, there may be the need to fix cracks in the drywall or ceilings, tiles that are broken or uneven, flooring that has sloped, and crooked windows and doors.  Although minor in detail, the costs for these repairs can add up quickly.

A home buyer will also need to check with their lender, different financing may be required for a home that is not deemed structurally sound.

For additional information concerning your foundation questions, call Bay Area Foundation Repair at 281-992-9000.

Should You Buy a House with Foundation Problems?

There are many things on the checklist that buyers are looking for in their new home search. Most often, what lies under the house, is not necessarily one of them, but it should be. After all the foundation of the home, is what stabilizes your home. So, when you are checking out all the amenities of a new home, look down and focus on the foundation, or it could cause lots of issues and money in the future.

When searching for a home in Clear Lake or any other city, check for warning signs for potential foundation problems. Make any notes if you notice any of the following:

  • Cracks in the pavement or driveway
  • Doors that do not shut properly, will not latch or stick
  • Cracks in the drywall
  • Windows and doors that are misaligned, difficult to open, or are cracked
  • Sloping floors or staircases
  • Gaps between wall and ceiling, gaping seams at the baseboard or ceiling level
  • Standing water along the outside perimeter of the home

If you have already fallen in love with a home and have uncovered some of these issues, there is no need to stress, however, proceed with caution. Not all foundation problems are created equal and a review by a professional, such as a structural engineer, along with the other inspections is necessary and required. It is worth the hourly rate to understand the extent of the issue before purchasing the home.

The good news is that foundation problems can be fixed and knowing what you are dealing with puts the buying power in your hands. This is prime time to negotiate the price of the home allowing for money that will need to be spent to correct the foundation issue.

For more information related to foundation issues, call Bay Area Foundation Repair at 281-992-9000.

Solutions for Fixing a Broken Foundation

Foundation issues are a result of several differing factors making no two foundation problems ever alike; however, there are two techniques for repair that have proven to be most effective.

Slabjacking involves pumping a grout mixture, made of several components like soil, clay, concrete and other materials, underneath your home’s concrete slab which will actually float the foundation back to its proper position. This will fix the current situation, but is not preventative from future settlement issues that are likely to occur.

Piering is a more permanent solution; although it does cost more.  This process places supports or metal piers underground to lift and support the existing concrete.  Deep trenches are dug by the professional and then your current foundation is lifted by hydraulics to allow the placement of the pier. The piers are then anchored with concrete to hold them in place. This method will stand the test of time as no further home settlement will cause any further damage

Causes for Foundation Problem

Unfortunately, there will never be the perfect construction of a foundation that can withstand all changes brought about by weather conditions and home settling. It is this uneven settling or movement that naturally occurs over time that causes most foundation problems. Clay soils naturally expand and contract in the every changing extreme weather conditions and cause foundations to break and need repair. There are other reasons as well which include having a water line or pipe break underneath the home, major flood damage or a long-term drought. Call a professional if you suspect an issue.

Identifying Foundation Problems Early is a Must

Do frequent home checks and take note of any cracking in flooring or walls, gaps between baseboards and wall or ceiling, or floors that start to slant. These are indicators of a foundation problem and need to be reported to a professional for further assessment. The longer you wait, the more progressive the problem will become. Don’t hesitate to call to prevent further structural damage to your home.