Signs An Old Foundation Is Damaged: A Guide For House Hunters

Construction & Contractors Blog

There are so many older homes on the market that simply need a little work to be restored to their former glory. Sadly, there are also a lot of older homes with major issues like foundation damage.  These homes are more expensive to repair than they are worth. When looking at an older home with the intention of buying it, you should always have a house inspection. But, before you even arrange for an inspection, there are some basic signs of foundation damage you can look for on your own.


Most foundations do crack a little as the house settles, but this sort of crack appears in the first few years. If there are numerous cracks in the foundation, and some look relatively new, that's a sign of foundation failure. Big cracks that span the length or width of the basement are also a more serious matter.

Leaning Posts

If there are posts holding up the ceiling in the basement, look at them closely and make sure they are still standing straight and tall. If one or more posts seems to be leaning to the side, then the foundation is probably shifting. Jacks placed in the basement by a previous homeowner is also a sign of possible foundation damage. They may have added the jacks in an effort to stop the house from shifting any more.

Uneven Door and Window Frames

Don't just look in the basement for signs of foundation troubles. Venture up to the first and second floors and take a close look at the windows and doors. Do any of the window frames seem to be leaning? Are the windows easy to slide within the frames? Uneven and tough-to-open windows often result from a shifting foundation. If the tops of one or more door frames are crooked, this is also a sign the foundation could be shifting. 

Crooked Floors

To tell whether a floor is crooked, set a marble on it. If the marble always rolls swiftly to the same side, then that floor is probably crooked. Not every crooked floor is a sign of a foundation problem. The floor itself could have been poorly installed. However, a crooked floor is definitely reason to have a foundation expert look the home over closely before you agree to buy it.

In many cases, repairing a damaged foundation is very expensive, but it can be done. Unless you can get the home for a steal, you may be best off walking away from the sale.


22 April 2019

Using Reclaimed Wood For Construction Projects

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