2 Warning Signs Of Hidden Structural Issues To Look For While Touring An Older House You Wish To Buy

If you have found an older home for sale in which you are interested in buying, you may worry about structural issues that you may not readily see which could become a problem after you buy the house. While problems may not necessarily keep you from buying the house, you still want to know what you are facing in the future. While you are touring the house, look for the following warning signs that there may be hidden structural issues.

Gaps or Uneven Frames Around the Windows

Shortly after a house is built and the weather changes several times, the ground underneath it starts to adjust to the weight of the structure. During this adjustment period, the house itself starts to settle, making the floors, walls, and ceilings shift slightly.

This settling is normal and is to be expected. And, if the foundation is sound, there should not be any actual damage to the home's structural integrity.

However, as more years pass, a house continues to settle, resulting in potentially larger shifts in the walls. As water presses in on the foundation, it could start to shift as well, resulting in larger movement in the supporting structures.

If the structure moves too much, gaps may start to form around the windows, and the frames can become uneven. While this is not necessarily a sign that the house is about to cave in, it could mean that some work will need to be done to even up the foundation, walls, and windows.

Fragrances Are Strong and Many

Another sign you should look for when you walk into the house is the presence of very strong fragrances in the air. While the fragrances have nothing directly to do with the structure, they could be there to hid odors that would indicate a warning sign of something wrong with the house.

For example, if the home's roof or basement is prone to leaking, there could be hidden damage and wood rot inside the ceilings and walls. Mold and mildew may also be growing, posing a health risk to you and your family. If found, you would need to have the damaged wood removed and the fungal growth remediated.

If there is rotting wood, mildew, or mold present, the home may exude a musty odor that the fragrances are meant to cover up. If you are bombarded by many different strong perfumes, look carefully for dark spots on the ceilings and walls, and pay attention to water spots on the walls of the basement.

If you notice any of the warning signs while touring an old house, they could indicate a hidden issue with the structure. If you are still interested in the home for sale, speak with your real estate agent about setting up a second tour and have a contractor come with you. Afterward, they could discuss any damage they found and whether or not any present damage is salvageable.