Living here in the greater Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, NM areas we live on a geologically actively moving surface area with expansive soils. Home Inspector Albuquerque will often during home inspections discover cracks in the floor of a foundation floor of newer homes as well as older ones that would be best termed as typical settlement cracks in our area as the weight of the home settles on top of the foundation that is resting on top of the expansive soils. Home Inspector Albuquerque will remain diligent in making sure the overall grade of the site is allowing for the proper drainage of moisture to help maintain and protect the integrity of the
compacted soils underneath a concrete slab foundation.
During a home inspection I will look to identify if any of the cracking seems to be heaving outwardly. If heaving is discovered I will look to identify if the walls seem to be tipping in the direction of the heaving. If so this condition would be documented and as the home inspector I would recommend a soil and structure engineer to further inspect, evaluate and repair as necessary.
Houses that are built close to the foothills and near the base of the mountains experience greater frequency of soil expansion naturally through the alluvial fan effect. In older homes where the movement has been allowed to continue in the foundation the structure will in turn show indications of that stress of movement and can become unsafe to occupy. If these conditions exist currently in an older property it is imperative that they be evaluated by a soils and structural engineer and professionally and properly corrected by professional, licensed contractors with foundation and structure repair experience.
In newer home construction out in Albuquerque’s West Mesa developments and Rio Rancho areas developers often times do not account for the expansive soils molecular structures and fail to properly compact the site soils. This condition can and will result in foundation cracks, gaps or heaving cracks. During new home construction inspections where the home is nearly 2 years old
I have seen evidence of poor soil compaction. As a home inspector by observing the same exterior sag and tipping walls in a series of track homes almost exactly in the same stressed areas due to movement of the un-compacted soils underneath each individual house’s concrete slab. The grade was not properly compacted on each of the constructed houses site and each home was showing indications of defect because of it.
Knowing what to look for when potentially buying a house is powerful knowledge. Hiring a local home inspection company like Home Inspector Albuquerque that will perform a thorough and detailed home inspection that is easy to understand is highly encouraged. By doing so you will in turn be allowed to make informed decisions.
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