August 20 2020 0comment

Buying a house with foundation issues?

Purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments anyone will make in their lifetime and it should not be taken lightly.  When a property is on the market, there is such a thing as ‘too good to be true’ and all astute home buyers are very wary of ‘structural repairs’.

The best thing you can do when looking to make an offer on a property is to be as informed as possible.  Ensuring that you’ve had a thorough visual inspection as well as employing a qualified building inspector to help identify any major structural faults or hazards is a definite!

Wall cracks and soil types

When walking through a home, you should be on high alert for any cracks as a potential warning sign of subsidence.  However not all wall cracks require any further attention.  It’s natural that a home will crack over time but if you notice cracks that are larger than 5 millimetres and carry across large sections, then there may be a cause for concern.

If the building foundations are affected by ground subsidence, the underlying reason may not be immediately obvious, and further investigations are highly recommended before finalising the sale.

The common causes of foundation ground issues often relate to moisture in the soil beneath the home’s foundations. Different types of soil behave in different ways to changing moisture levels, so consider the following when investigating the likely cause:

  • water ponding around the house,
  • excessive moisture leaking into the foundation ground, often due to broken pipes, making it too wet
  • invasive tree roots searching for water, making it too dry.

Building inspections are a must!

Commerce WA recommends investing in a pre-purchase building inspection to gain specialist advice regarding any major problems, and how the issues may affect the property over time. The inspection report can help determine future maintenance plans, with the cost of major repairs able to be factored into the purchase price.  If they suggest that there may be extensive foundation damage, then we would suggest it be fully assessed by an accredited structural engineer to identify the cause and identify a remedy.

How to fix it?

In many cases, foundation issues aren’t the end of the world!  They can be remedied quickly using modern underpinning solutions that are less costly and invasive than the older, traditional methods.  You may have found the house of your dreams but the purpose of this article was to remind you that extra costs may appear and it’s better to negotiate that into your final offer price rather than be stuck with a bill later on.

We recently completed a project in North Perth which had significant voids to fill and missing foundations which was common of the era of home.  Our grout was injected and within 7 days, all soil is settled and structural issues solved.

For help on the best way to remediate structural issues that may occur as a result of underground water leaks, contact us at BMC Microfine on (08) 9303 9297 or by email –