We recently asked the question “Would you buy a home in need of foundation repairs?” Of the 767 responses, 683 or 88% said “no.” From our perspective, that’s no surprise. Well, the 12% who said “yes” may very well be a surprise unless they have a very good foundation professional to take care of the needed repairs.
We also sifted the data looking for any further insights. Here’s what we found.
Responses by Gender
From this, there’s some small expectation that men are more likely to take risks in purchasing a home that needs foundation repair.
We found similar differences based on age, with 14% of those aged 34-44 years responding “yes,” contrasted with ages 55-64 and 65+ at 9% “yes.” This is compared to the overall response of 12%. It seems that as you age, your experience tells you that investing in anything that needs repairs isn’t the wisest choice.
When examining regional differences, the “yes” responses came from the South and Midwest, both at 8%, with the West weighing in at 14% and Northeast at an amazing 23%. It looks as though there is far greater tolerance for risk or at least acceptance of needed foundation repairs in the West and particularly in the Northeast.
As you can see from the data above, few are willing to consider buying a home with a faulty foundation. We’ve compiled a listing of the most common house foundation defects in a recent article. Here’s a quick overview:
- Sinking. Excess water around a home’s foundation from rain or flooding can saturate the soil, causing it to sink. That effect will vary at different places around the foundation, causing not only sinking but uneven sinking, including breaking up the foundation.
- Settling. Drought can have just as big an impact on the foundation. The soil will dry up and shrink. This causes the foundation to settle into the reduced level of soil. That settlement will be uneven across the foundation, causing cracks and breaks.
- Tree and shrub roots. When planted close to the home’s foundation, roots can cause significant damage. In dry conditions, they pull out moisture causing the soil to settle. In wet conditions, the cracks created can lead to excess moisture and even flooding in basements or crawl spaces.
- Frost heave. In freezing conditions, the top layer of soil freezes quickly, followed by the lower levels. Unfortunately, that top frozen layer doesn’t allow the lower levels to expand as they freeze. This, in turn, pushes the top layer upward and puts pressure on the home’s foundation. Cracks and bulges are the inevitable consequences.
- Poor workmanship. A home’s foundation could also suffer from poor workmanship in the original construction. For example, the concrete mix could have too much water, leaving weak cement. It could also be improperly leveled, leading to big problems over time.
Signs of Foundation Problems
Those are the defects and problems that can develop with a home’s foundation. Given that, there are quite a few warning signs to watch for in the home. Here’s a quick summary.
- Cracks in the walls or floors
- Sticking doors or windows
- Gaps between walls, windows, or doors
- Sagging or slanted floors
- Leaning chimney
- Bulging or bowing basement walls
- Musty smell from mold, rot, and mildew
- Damp walls or leaks
Look for these as you’re touring a prospective home. It’s also a good idea to watch for these in your own home so you can take steps to find the cause and repair the underlying problems before they become a major headache when it comes time to sell.
We Can Help
No matter how knowledgeable you are on identifying foundation issues in a home, it’s best to depend on the experts before making a major new investment. A free inspection from the country’s leading foundation repair experts can help you identify what steps to take to secure your foundation and protect your home (or your future home).
Our partners across the country will complete a thorough evaluation of your foundation and recommend customized repair solutions. Contact us today for a free inspection and estimate.