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Buying A New House? Start Out Inspecting What Is Outside Before You Inspect Inside

by Sara Cook

If you are buying a new house inspect the outside of the home instead of immediately going inside. What you find may make you change your mind before you even walk in the door. Below are three of these things so you can ensure you get the best house for you.

Waterproofing

If the home has a basement make sure it is waterproofed. The exterior may be coated with a waterproofing compound. This compound is applied on the foundation and may be asphalt-based or epoxy-based coatings.

The home may also have a membrane waterproofing coating on the exterior foundation walls to create a barrier between the ground water and the walls. Membranes are durable and can withstand cold temperatures and water pressure.

There may be a French drain installed. A French drain is a trench built around the foundation to use as a water barrier.  

 For more information about waterproofing, contact a business such as State Wide Waterproofing.

Foundation

The foundation is crucial because it is what supports the entire home. Some small cracks are normal and can simply be due to a house settling.  If you see cracks shaped like an L, this can be due to the foundation shrinking a little into the soil, and this is not a problem with the structure of the foundation. These cracks should be repaired, however, to keep the crawl space and basement dry.

If you see cracks that look like steps, this is more of a concern. These cracks are generally due to moisture from outside putting too much pressure on the foundation. The foundation will need to be repaired if it has these cracks.

If you see horizontal cracks, then you should not purchase this home. These cracks mean that the soil has become saturated, frozen, and then expanded around the foundation. This can cause the foundation to push in and break. In a case like this, the entire foundation needs to be replaced.

Septic Tank

If the home has a septic tank walk around on the property. If you see any area where the grass looks much greener than the other grass or the ground is wet when it should not be, then there is a problem with the septic tank. This area is known as the drain field. The grass is greener and healthier because it is constantly supplied with moisture. This water signifies there are cracks or damage to the septic tank pipes. You may also smell an odor in the areas around the drain field.

This also may be a sign that the homeowner did not have the septic tank pumped and cleaned on a regular basis.

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