Not all cracks are created equal, but they should raise some alarm when you notice them in your home.
Whether you’re buying or selling, or currently live in a house with signs of foundation issues, you should get your property inspected by a foundation specialist right away.
The foundation is arguably the most important structural element of a house, which is why it’s so important to spot signs of foundation damage or degradation early on.
Here’s what to look for:
1. Doors that are misaligned or don’t function properly.
2. Windows that stick or have cracks.
3. Cracks in your drywall or plaster.
4. Gaps or spaces between the seams in the wall and the ceiling.
5. Sloping floors or staircases.
6. Saturated areas in the home’s crawl spaces, basement or around the perimeter of the home.
If you notice any of these issues around your home, it’s important to contact a foundation specialist immediately. Companies, like Julian Construction, will conduct a foundation inspection to assess the level of damage or deterioration on the property.
Oftentimes, foundation issues are simply the result of age and foundation settling. But other issues, that are unaddressed, could put the structural integrity of your property at risk.
Smaller cracks — like those that are less than 1/4 inch – on foundations are usually from settlement and just need to be sealed to prevent water from getting in. However, wide cracks or gaps typically indicate larger foundation issues and will need repair immediately.
If you’re looking to purchase a new house – and have fallen love with a property with foundation issues – make sure you renegotiate the price to account for the money you will spend to repair the foundation.
And if you’re selling a house with foundation issues, be honest with buyers and disclose all foundation problems. It’s always best to fix foundation cracks and damage before listing your property. Using a reputable foundation repair company will not only be a strong selling point for your house, but will keep you in escrow.
Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors and foundation repair. Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.