Foundation Issues & Home Buying – Explained
If you’re currently in the market to purchase a new home, it’s important to become familiar with foundation issues and foundation repair.
Once you’ve opened escrow on a property, one of the first steps is having the home inspected. If during your home inspection, foundation issues are detected, now it’s time to hire a foundation specialist to determine the severity of the damage at hand.
Understanding Foundation Issues
During the inspection process, a home inspector will examine the interior and exterior of the structure, looking for signs of cracks, moisture intrusion, water damage, roof issues, window and door problems, and so on. If a home has a few of these visible issues, these could be signs that there are problems with the home’s foundation – indicating shifting or settling.
Sometimes a seller will disclose known foundation issues beforehand, but more often, sellers are not aware of the foundation issues in the home, which is why it’s so important to have a home inspection before escrow is closed.
What Causes Foundation Problems
There are a number of factors that can cause or contribute to foundation problems – check out some of the most common ones below.
Poor Soil Conditions: Some soils are better than others. Clay soils for example – which are extremely common in California – tend to expand when they are wet and contract when they dry. This can create settlement issues with time.
Water Intrusion or Drainage Problems: Water is no friend to a home’s foundation. When water pools or puddles around a foundation this can weaken the structure and cause significant damage to the foundation’s support systems.
Poor Construction: This is especially common in older homes – sometimes a foundation is having problems because it was poorly constructed. Like most things in life, building codes have greatly improved over time, so older homes tend to need more costly repairs.
How to Spot Foundation Damage:
Cracks: If you’ve noticed small to large cracks on the interior or the exterior of the home, these could be signs that there are problems with the foundation. Small cracks that are near the ceiling can be signs of larger foundation problems at play, while large cracks can be a sign that the structure of the house is undergoing a rather large foundation shift. Large cracks can also allow water to penetrate the foundation which can cause even further damage to the structure.
Water Damage: Signs of water damage in the crawl space and/or basements are often signs of structural problems. It can also contribute to issues with mold and pests.
Gaps: If a foundation is settling at an uneven rate, you may notice that some of the doors and windows look and feel misaligned. If you notice gaps between the walls and ceilings, sloping floors, or cracked flooring pay extra attention to the inspection.
Sloping or Bowing: If you’ve noticed bowing walls and/or sloping floors, it’s likely that there is significant damage to the foundation. If this is the case, it’s important to take in the costs of these repairs when it comes to escrow.
When foundation problems are discovered, typically the seller will either cover the repairs or reimburse the buyer for the damage. While this may delay your closing, it shouldn’t affect your mortgage as long as there are plans in place for repair.
Whether your own a home or are in the process of buying one, if you’ve noticed any areas of foundation damage around your home, in the form of large cracks on the interior and/or the exterior of the property, uneven or sloping floors, and doors and windows that stick, it’s important to schedule an inspection with a foundation specialist (like Julian Construction) as soon as possible.
We have extensive experience serving our Los Angeles community and nearby regions. In fact, Julian Construction has inspected over 30,000 structures in the area!
Julian Construction was formed in 1994 and our focus has always been on building and maintaining foundations, doing foundation repair and replacement, earthquake retrofitting, and house leveling.
When you work with Julian Construction, you get the principles of the company and the workers of Julian Construction under your home.
And in order to keep foundation repair affordable for our customers, we offer a price guarantee — because we know our quote for repair will represent your very best value.
Give us a call at (323) 733-3377 to schedule your free inspection or complete the inspection request form.