Cracks in Ceiling/Uneven floors

9 Replies

Hello fellow BP members,

I just walked through a small 3/1 house in Glendora and noticed cracks in the ceiling in 2 rooms on either side of the house and a crack in the wall near the front of the house. The floors also seemed uneven at times, I thought I was imagining things so my wife walked with me and confirmed that the floors seem to slope in some rooms. The house was built in the 20's I believe but I'd have to double check.

What could cause this? Is this a "red flag" ?

Damn right it's a red flag but more info is needed for us to give you an answer beyond that: What type of foundation?.  What's the lot like, sloped?  What's the soil like?

Sounds like foundation problems. It's very common in North Texas - most of the REOs I buy have foundation problems. Usually, $5000 or so takes care of it.

I know it's less common, sometimes rarely heard of, in communities where the soils don't shift like ours do, but Angie's List does show numerous foundation repair contractors in your area. I'd ask the seller if they've had the foundation checked. A house typically can't sell via conventional mortgage if the foundation is bad. If they haven't had it checked and don't want to do so, and you think the house is a good deal even with the foundation problems, then be sure to include a 10-day inspection option in your contract and have it checked during that time.

foundation, check the door jambs and see if you have sticky doors too

The lot is not sloped in any way and the home looks like it is built on top of a crawl space. Here are a few photos of the cracks, although these photos don't do them justice.

Thank you all for you quick replies!

From my understanding (still learning daily) once the foundation is an issue the deal may be best left behind? This is actually a property my old landlord had and was thinking about renting out. For grins I asked him if I could walk through it to see what I thought.

Definitely have a foundation specialist inspect that property during your inspection period.

I hate to say it, but in a 90 year old home, I expect to see some sloping floors, and some cracking.  That doesn't mean that there shouldn't be an investigation of the issue.

If it slopes south your ok if it slopes east it's a beast ; if it's west that's the best; north well by now you ve probably figured it out.

Honestly the only way to really know it to have an engineer examine the foundation to see it there is an ongoing issue of if there it's just the norm for the age of home. Most older homes are going to have similar issues. When I look at the foundation of older homes it's generally a stacked stone foundation and it just lasts forever. So usually if that's the case I don't worry to much about the cracks. But just investigate further until you reach a conclusion. That looks something like see cracks in the ceiling: look closer : turns out they just didn't tape the seams when they put up new drywall.

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

Thank you all for you quick replies!

From my understanding (still learning daily) once the foundation is an issue the deal may be best left behind? This is actually a property my old landlord had and was thinking about renting out. For grins I asked him if I could walk through it to see what I thought.

 Not at all. If I walked away from every opportunity that had foundation problems, I'd rarely buy anything. Just have a foundtion specialist - a reputable one - take a look at it. No need for an engineer. They'll bring out a digital level, check the centerpoint of the home, then measure the drop to each side and corner of the house. They'll give you a report showing what it needs, whether piers need to be added and how many, whether existing piers need to be shimmed up, and so on.

It may be there's no real problem....a certain amount of foundation settling is OK. If it drops an inch, even an inch and a half, in 20', you're fine. If it drops 3 or 4",  you need repair.

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