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Top 5 Issues Missed by Home Inspectors – Issue #4

Of all the issues overlooked by inexperienced home inspectors, none creates more anxiety for homeowners and home buyers than “Foundation Issues.” Unfortunately, many home inspectors do not have the expertise to adequately and accurately identify or address foundation issues.


Issue #4 – Foundation Issues

An inexperienced home inspector may completely overlook potentially serious foundation issues, or may improperly identify the underlying reasons for foundation cracks, causing unnecessary concern and additional costs (i.e., engineering reports).  For example, a few home inspectors may not be able to differentiate between serious foundation issues and minor thermal expansion within the foundation itself.

An experienced home inspector, working closely with engineers on hundreds of projects and after taking dozens of courses, can typically identify the reasons for foundation cracks. He or she may also be able to suggest possible remediation solutions for minor issues without hiring a structural engineer.

On the other hand, inexperienced home inspectors may completely overlook these issues — or simply play the “call a structural engineer” card when they have any doubt whatsoever about foundation stability.  This inexperience and lack of training costs clients more money and often creates unnecessary concern.

Real world examples:  I have inspected homes with very large cracks in their foundations that were completely overlooked in previous inspections.  Subsequent engineering reports on these homes confirmed serious structural issues that needed to be addressed immediately.  In other cases, I have inspected homes where very minor foundation issues were considered to be very serious by previous inspectors.  In one recent case, a previous inspector had raised major red flags on a minor issue (minor cracks)– an issue that was caused by water being directed to the foundation wall from the driveway and then freezing and thawing over  the years.  I made the suggestion that landscaping or a curb be used to redirect water away from the foundation area. (Wet soil is heavy and can cause pressure to a wall with unbalanced support.  In most cases, this issues can be resolved by redirecting surface or roof water to flow away from the foundation wall.)


Hire An Experienced Inspector!

Although hiring an experienced, highly-trained home inspector is always in a client’s best interests, when foundation issues are present or suspected it is always prudent  for you to choose your home inspector carefully — and in essence take charge of your money!

Call Housebusters Inspection Services at 304-847-3500 if you have any questions or if you want to schedule an inspection.


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