This is my first post, and I just recently joined this forum because of what I’m about to tell you. I am a first time homebuyer and am just learning about home inspections and such. If you have a moment, please read my story and make any comments you wish. Forgive me for how lengthy this post is.
Monday, my wife and I had a walk-through with our home inspector. He was very professional and showed us what he had found that needed repair. Well, as I was doing my own inspection, I noticed a ridge in the carpet of the master bedroom that went from one end of the room to the other (sorry, I have no pics and will try to get some). I stood on the ridge and could feel something underneath, some unevenness. When I brought this to the attention of the inspector, he told me it was a slab crack and that this was very common for 20 year old homes. He told me that the footings (or whatever they’re called) around the outside of the home were not cracked, so that was what is important. I also noticed that along the same line as the slab crack, there was a crack up the wall to the ceiling, which had been freshly painted, but was very noticeable.
This slab crack bothered me. Both my realtor and my home inspector told me that this was common and since the footings weren’t cracked, it wasn’t a problem. However, in my mind, since there was a definite ridge…in other words, one side of the slab crack was at a different elevation than the other, this was a huge concern to me. If I could feel this crack through the carpet and the padding, then it must be very significant!
Wednesday I called a structural engineer that was recommended to me and had him come by and analyze the slab crack. He also found tile cracking in the kitchen that also seemed to follow a line, indicating a possible slab crack or some structural instability underneath the tile. Since the tile appeared to be fairly new, it was obvious that this wasn’t shifting that was due to the initial settling of the house in the first year.
The structural engineer also found that there was water leaking somewhere in the house. He turned off all the water in the house and made sure no faucets were leaking and observed that the water meter was still turning. He shut off the valve to the house and the meter stopped. Then he turned off the valve in the back of the house to the sprinkler system and hot tub and the meter still turned, thereby narrowing down the leak to somewhere in the house.
This water leak along with other water settling hazards that the engineer pointed out to me are potentially the cause of this structural instability. My wife and I decided not to buy this house due to these findings.
My questions/statements are:
- Why did my original home inspector not notice AT LEAST the wall crack in the master? Why didn’t he notice the tile cracks and tiles lifting at the corners in the kitchen?
- Shouldn’t the owners have disclosed this? My realtor verified that they were aware of this crack when they carpeted the master.
- It irritates me that not only did my inspector not find these cracks, but when I pointed them out, he acted like it was no big deal…“this is common for houses of 20 years”
- My realtor acts as though this is no big deal
- Was this a big deal? Are we going to find slab cracks in MOST of the 20 year old homes we look at?