Daily Archives: October 4, 2020

Foundation Failure! 5 Things You Should Know Before Buying A Home

There it is! Your dream home sits there before your very eyes. You found just about everything you ever wanted and it’s in a great location. The house passed inspection. You’ve worked, sacrificed, and saved to make a down payment. You’ve jumped through the hoops and moved Heaven and Earth to make it a reality. What else could you possibly need to do before signing on the dotted line and walking into your dream?

Well, as it turns out, there are 5 more things to consider… and they all have something to do with your future dream home’s foundation.

1) Not all home inspections are equal.

Though most professional inspectors are extremely good at what they do, they can and often do miss signs of future foundation failure. A professional inspector’s field is so broad that it can be difficult or almost impossible to be proficient at every single area. Often, what passes inspection as “settling cracks” is really a neon sign announcing upcoming Foundation Failure.

2) It’s All About Location, Location, Location

Where you buy is just as important as what you buy. Houses sitting on flood plains are a disaster just waiting to happen. Even houses on the highest parcels of a flood plain are susceptible to the devastating results of flooding. A home owner may breathe a well deserved sigh of relief when his or her home is spared from water in the house and not realize the impact flooding has had on the soil on which the house sits. Soils react to standing water in a negative way through either expanding and contracting or erosion. Either can lead to Foundation Failure.

3) The type of soil beneath the house dictates the future.

Different soil types do different things. Clays tend to expand and contract with moisture or the lack thereof. Sand mixes often erode with sever rain conditions. Loamy mixes, both sand and clay, can be vulnerable to the proportions of the soil mixtures. A soil analysis can almost predict the future of a home’s foundation.

4) Outdated plumbing is a recipe for disaster.

In older homes, cast iron plumbing was installed in the initial construction. As time passes, cast iron becomes porous and eventually starts to leak. The ground surrounding the leak softens and gives way to the incredible amount of weight of the house above it. This creates unnatural stress on a concrete slab foundation and leads to foundation failure. It is important to note that not all plumbing leaks manifest symptoms! Home owners will often state emphatically that there’s been no change in water pressure in any of the home’s fixtures, therefore there cannot be a “plumbing leak”. The reality is that a plumbing leak can actually be a sewer drain leak. Sewer drain leaks do not create decreased water pressure because they use gravity to carry away waste and waste water. Once water hits the sewer drain, it has served its purpose and is leaving. The functional capabilities of faucets and toilets are unaffected by sewer leaks, hence, no lowered water pressure.

5) Everything is subject to change without prior notice.

Though not often, a house can pass inspection and then have issues almost immediately after purchase. Timing is tricky because things don’t come with an expiration date on them. Couple that with an overloaded professional inspector and you could have a potential time bomb on your hands. It almost makes a potential home buyer want to just stay put and forgo that dream house… almost. There is still hope for that dream house.

A Foundation Repair Specialist is worth every penny he charges if he saves a potential home buyer his or her life savings. Unlike a general house inspector, a Foundation Specialist knows all the signs and can see where they’re going. Additionally, he knows all the right questions to ask the current home owner and can build the home’s back story. This enables him to tell you if there’s a happy ending or not.

Before you make a decision on purchasing a home, consult a local Foundation Professional. His or her expertise will come with a reasonable price which will insure that your interests are served and not the interest of someone trying to unload a “money pit”. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.