How Do I Identify Foundation Problems in My House?
Buyer Beware: 14 Signs of a Home Foundation Problem
Many people are shocked to learn that 25 percent of all new homes ultimately suffer from some type of structural distress. Many times, these issues center on foundation problems. To protect yourself from unwieldy repair costs, learn how identify telltale signs of a bad foundation.
What Causes Foundation Failure?
While just about every foundation eventually sinks deeper into the ground, a good builder should take steps to mitigate this occurrence. This includes factoring in local climate and soil conditions during the construction process. When they fail to account for these issues, builders may inadvertently pave the way for a foundation dilemma.
At the same time, natural phenomena can also cause perfectly good foundations to lose their structural integrity. Whatever the cause, when foundations begin to fail, homeowners are often left with the bill, especially if they failed to acquire a long-term structural warranty.
What to Watch for
It’s not always easy for inexperienced house hunters to spot a foundation problem. Sometimes, sellers will even hide signs of distress by making a few strategic repairs or by adding some well-placed spackle and paint. If you do see any of the following signs, you should be leery of a potential structural defect:
- A curving or bulging block foundation or crumbling concrete
- Splitting or cracking brick facades
- Mortar cracks between brick, especially above window frames
- Windows and doors that stick or no longer latch
- Crown molding separation especially where walls meet
- Cracks in the exterior concrete or interior walls, especially above doorways, windows and where ceilings and walls join
- Cracks in floor tile
- Sloping staircases, floors or walls
- Water in the basement, around the home’s perimeter or in the crawlspace
- Signs of excessive caulking used to seal very large cracks or gaps
- Separation between vertical and horizontal trim around doorway
- Exterior brick separating from a window frame
- Gaps between walls and ceilings
- Brick facades pulling away from the house
When there Are No Signs
Unfortunately, many foundation problems develop without much warning. What’s more, because they can take years to show themselves, these structural issues often occur long after a typical home builders warranty has expired. This usually spells bad news for homeowners, who must often take out additional loans to pay for repairs.
For this reason, many homeowners choose to secure their home’s future by asking their builders to acquire an additional 10-year structural warranty. In addition to providing full coverage for foundation problems, these valuable assets also cover other key structural components, including girders, beams, load-bearing walls and partitions, footings, columns, roof framing systems and floor framing.
When you consider that the average structural defect costs $42,500 to repair, it’s clear why so many new homeowners are so interested in extended warranty coverage. After all, when it comes to protecting what will probably be the largest investment of your lifetime, risk just isn’t an option.
2-10 HBW offers the most comprehensive warranty coverage for homeowners. Let us help you get started with a Home Warranty today!