Most homeowners understand the importance of a value appraisal and general home inspection before making their purchase as a means of protecting their investment interest in the home, but rarely do people realize the need for continued follow up inspection services as a means of catching potential problems before they cause a need for much more expensive repairs. The foundation is arguably the most important aspect of the building as if it is compromised it can be a potential reason to condemn the home. There are a few signs to watch out for which may indicate a foundation inspection is in order.
Signs of a House that Is Settling
It’s natural for a new home to settle a bit as it acclimates to the environment and the weather, but it can be a problem to settle too much in a short period of time, or if an older house begins to resettle after a period of stability. Over settling can potentially cause damage to the drainage system underneath the foundation, leading to flooding or leaks which in turn create a vicious cycle with even further settling.
The easiest way to judge if the home may be settling is if the doors and windows don’t seem to be operating properly. This is usually because as the house settles the supporting framework around doors and windows slowly works its way out of plumb, level and square. A further sign of such a problem is when doors and cabinet doors refuse to stay partially open but swing to either the fully open or closed position. A third sign to be on the watch for is if the floor seems to be out of level, indicating the house is settling unevenly.
Water Leak in Crawl Space or Basement
In an ideal world, you’ll find a problem leading to a basement leak before you have to deal with water actually forming puddles in the space. Unfortunately, it’s rarely caught so soon. Once there is a leak the entire foundation may or may not be compromised but it’s certainly worth having a professional examine the foundation for any needed repairs to solve a problem which may have caused the leak or may have been caused by the leak. Either way, it’s in your best interest to go ahead and solve the problem as it will only get worse over time and become a more expensive repair project.