Home inspectors are individuals who professionally inspect homes that are listed for sale. Whether you are purchasing a new home or you are selling your existing home, an inspection will take place at some point in time. The inspector will be searching for imperfections in the home that might affect the overall value. When issues are found, the buyer can request problems be taken care of before the purchase is completed.
One area in which inspectors will be reviewing is concrete foundations. The concrete foundation is important as it is the area in which the home is setting on. This foundation must be in good shape to ensure the integrity of the home. The concrete foundation will be inspected to check for flooring that is unleveled, which can lead to door issues, cracks in the wall and so much more.
Cracks in the Foundation
The inspector will start by walking the perimeter of your home. The foundation will be reviewed and the inspector will determine if you have any cracks that are visible from the outside. Once the outside has been inspected, the home inspector will go inside any crawlspaces and check out the foundation from underneath the home. Visible cracks will be assessed to see the size, direction of the movement and location of the cracks. If a problem seems severe, the home inspector may call in a structural engineer for an opinion.
During the inspection, the home inspector will be looking for hints in the exterior such as bulging or divots, this can be seen outside the home. Inside the home, the inspector will be looking for leaning walls, cracks along the walls or ceiling, leaning flooring and doors that will not close properly. The crawl space or basement will be inspected and supports, piers and posts will be inspected. Such areas should be standing straight and tall, firmly planted as the foundation of your home.
Defining Foundation Cracks
When cracks are seen in the foundation, the home inspector will need to read the crack to determine if the issue is significant and if steps need to be taken to repair the home. When concrete is poured, it will need to cure. During this process, the concrete will shrink slightly. When the concrete cannot shrink evenly, the concrete will crack. A crack found in an L-shape pattern that is located near where a foundation stair steps down is most likely a shrinkage crack. This is not a structural issue but a basement or crawl space area may need to be plugged to avoid any water damage in the future.
Small cracks that are less than 1/16 inches wide can be painted over with a paint that is created for concrete waterproofing. This type of paint will successfully fill the crack and help to protect the basement area of crawlspace of your home.
Home owners should keep a constant check on the foundation, walking the exterior periodically. Look for new cracks or issues so repairs can be done quickly without delay, causing further damage to your property over time.