Learning that a home has foundation trouble when you are considering making a purchase may not be a deal breaker, but it is definitely a problem that you will want to know about as a buyer. Foundation problems could mean everything from costly investments into repairs to future issues with stability of the entire home. To get an inside look at a home and its structure when you are thinking about making it your own, it is crucial that you get really familiar with the not-so-obvious signs that a house may have problems with the foundation that sits beneath it.
1. The concrete foundation is not as solid as it appears.
A good majority of homes are built upon a concrete foundation or concrete blocks. While great pains may have been taken to make sure this material looks solid at a glance, if there are problems present, it doesn't take a lot to figure it out beyond just a visual assessment. Grab a screwdriver, pocket knife, or whatever you have handy that is metal and pointy and do a few 'poke' tests to measure the density of the concrete. If the concrete chips away easily or even worse, if your object just pushes right through a crumbled hole, it is definitely a sign that the foundation is not as strong as it should be.
2. The windows and doors will not close correctly.
If you are walking through a home with an agent or seller and find that a window will not open, you may be told that the problem is only due to old paint or the need for new windows. But windows that will not open or close correctly could easily be a sign that the support beneath has shifted, throwing the window casing out of line. The same thing goes for the doors in the home. If the latch does not line up to connect when you close a door, there is a good possibility that the frame has shifted, which is a sure-fire sign of foundation troubles.
3. The exterior brick cladding of the home is cracked.
It is not at all uncommon for old and dated brick to crack and crumble with age. However, the mortar between each brick or stone should stay fairly intact throughout time. If there are spidering cracks in the mortar which connects the brick siding of a home, there is a possibility that the foundation of the home has changed and is no longer as level as it should be. Contact a group of foundation contractors for more information.