If you are contemplating purchasing a residence in Fort Lauderdale, one of the areas that you will want to include in your home inspection is the condition of the foundation. The old parable about building your home on rock not sand takes on a literal importance where foundations are concerned. If there is a natural settling issue that’s one thing, but if the foundation is failing because of shifting soil or poor quality concrete that’s quite another.
- So you’re not a structural engineer; how can you tell if there is a potential foundation problem? Here are a few tips from our professional home inspection team that will tip you off to foundation issues:
- If a door doesn’t fit its frame snugly, or it is difficult to close, something has changed since it was installed. It may be the door or the jam has warped or it could be that the foundation has changed causing the problem.
- The same holds true with windows. If they are difficult to open and close and seem to rub on one side of the frame, that’s a tip off of a foundation problem.
- Cracks over windows and doors or in the walls in general (specifically near corners) are other warning signs.
Inspecting the Exterior of the Foundation
Even if you didn’t discover any indicators inside, you should take the time to inspect the foundation on the outside. Specifically:
- Eyeball the foundation from corner to corner. It should be straight both lengthwise and height wise.
- If there is a bulge in the foundation, it may indicate that the soil has either compacted or contracted placing a change of pressure on the foundation.
- If you spot stair step cracks, or supposedly repaired cracks, there is most likely a corner that has settled and will need a pier installed to raise and stabilize the foundation.
- If the concrete appears to be flaking, stick a screw driver in it. If concrete flakes off the quality of the concrete was probably not up to snuff when it was originally poured. This can be a very expensive repair.
The foundation is simply too important not to have professionally inspected. Most Fort Lauderdale real estate contracts include a contingency for a home inspection. Make sure you provide a professional inspector who works for you. The results of that inspection will give you the information you need to make an informed and favorable real estate decision.
If you have questions on this or any other home inspection issue, please feel free to contact us now and we will be happy to assist.