Every week, the detail-oriented folks at Green Scene Home Inspections will give CandysDirt.com readers an education in inspection. Want to see what they see? Tune in for “Upon Closer Inspection.”
When you’re buying a home, we advise people that the major areas of consideration are the roof, plumbing, electricity, HVAC, and the foundation. These are your bigger ticket items, so if something is amiss, you may have costly repairs on your hands at some point.
If you’re buying a home in North Texas, foundation issues are almost a given, so this is an area you’ll want to pay close attention to as you shop for homes.
In this shot, you can see a pretty vivid example of a deflection crack in the bricks caused by movement in the foundation. The same condition has created a crack across the driveway. There is likely a water line or something else there causing movement. This homeowner will want to have that evaluated and repaired.
One of the biggest causes of foundation issues is a leak under the slab. This image shows some pretty egregious floor buckling, likely caused by a sewer or water line leak under the house. These can be time-consuming and costly repairs.
Another indicator of foundation movement is when the floors are out of level. Watch as our Inspector blinds you with this highly scientific test.
Sometimes your issue could be caused by contractors or do-it-yourself repairs done without a full understanding of the foundation system. In this video, our inspector and a foundation expert get to the root of a problem in a pier-and-beam home.
Two Kinds of Foundations
There are two kinds of foundations found on homes in the DFW area: pier-and-beam and slab. Mostly found in homes built in the 1960s or earlier, a pier-and-beam foundation is comprised of footings (or piers) driven into the ground and secured by concrete bases, and beams that connect the piers. You can access a pier-and-beam foundation through the crawlspace under the house.
Homes built after 1970 most commonly have a concrete slab foundation or a “slab-on-grade” foundation. A thick layer of concrete is laid directly on the ground with steel tension rods going through it for extra support.