Getting to know concrete well also includes getting to know concrete when it’s defective— when it’s breaking down. There’s not one place more important—residentially—that concrete needs to hold up intact, than on a home’s foundation. Oftentimes people shopping for a new home overlook the less sexy topics like the home’s foundation.
However, a home’s foundation is its most important part: buying a home is an investment, for a few years or a life, and that investment is only as good as the structures that hold it up. If there’s a problem with the structure, you can’t just paint over it, or go to Home Depot and buy a DIY cure all that will solve all your problems. So, here are a few issues often seen on a home’s foundation that may indicate severe issues.
To start with, check the homes crawlspace, even the basement if there is one. Smell the air: does it smell like water? Mold and Mildew? If yes, there’s likely a drainage problem. Look at the walls, at the places where the walls meet the ceiling: are they cracking? Does it look flush? Overly crooked walls (understand, however, all homes over time develop angles that are far from perfect) are often a sign the home has settled inappropriately due to slab or foundation issues. One glaring sign is often heaving concrete floors, or uneven sagging floors—most of that’s not natural settling—there’s often real structural problems there. When a house settles incorrectly, or too severely, the doors could also become crooked. Crooked doors are like crooked walls—everything is a sign that something has happened, crookedness doesn’t just occur for nothing.
More subtle signs are cracked tiles, and overly shifted hardwood floors (some shifting in hardwoods is common as wood expands and contracts given the season, but severe movement, or a cracking or splintering in the floor, could be a cause the foundation beneath has issues.
If you think your potential home has issues with the foundation—if the issues are glaring or subtler—call someone to come out to inspect. Foundation issues can bear huge costs for repairs, and oftentimes a structural engineer can assess the issues, determine how to fix it.
If you have any other questions or would like more advice on defective concrete, call Shotcrete Montana today.