Home Inspections March 24, 2022

When Buying a Home is a Foundation Inspection Necessary?


The wise man built his house on the rock, the rain and wind came but the house stood firm. These wise words were spoken many years ago and certainly still hold true today. A foundation supports all the weight of a house, for this reason, it is important that your home is built on a rock-solid foundation.

As a home buyer, we expect modern building inspections and codes to protect us from foundation failure which can fail slowly over time. Many times the foundation is hidden from view thus slow failure cannot always be easily identified.

Moreover, foundation repairs can be very expensive. Don’t dismiss the concern with the excuse that ‘the ground is settling’. Although this may be true, if anything seems out of order it could be an indication that something more serious may be going on with the structure’s foundation.

Signs of Foundation Failure

  • Sticking doors or windows
  • Uneven or bouncy floors
  • Floor & ceiling gaps
  • Cracks near windows, door frames and vents
  • Stairstep cracking in brick work
  • Hairline cracking in poured basement walls
  • Chimney separation

These signs can be attributed to a foundation that has become unstable and is sinking into the soil. This can happen for several reasons. The soil around and beneath your home may have softened or partially washed away due to heavy rains, the soil may have shrunk due to drought or the soil may have been poorly compacted when the house was built.

Foundations Can Fail Slowly

Surprisingly many people don’t act on these issues because they think they’re a normal part of a home aging. Foundation problems don’t get better by themselves or less expensive to fix over time. Sometimes they’re completely ignored because they don’t seem like a serious problem as a basement crack may only grow a few millimeters a year.

In short foundation failure is serious but on the positive side most foundation problems can be permanently repaired. In many cases foundations can not only be stabilized but also lifted back to its original position.

A Foundation Inspection Identifies Issues

When you are purchasing a home, a good home inspector will evaluate the foundation for issues that aren’t readily apparent. If one or more of these issues are found in a home you are considering to purchase it is undoubtedly time to schedule an in-depth foundation inspection by an expert. Most foundation repair companies will inspect your foundation for free and without any obligation, so there’s really no risk to you.

As a home buyer, this is one reason a home inspection is so important without a doubt the condition of the foundation is one item that is best to know before you buy a home. If you are looking to buy a home, take a look at my webpage and feel free to contact me.