If you're buying a home for the first time you're probably looking for a lot of different things. The price, the colors, the materials, the location...the list goes on and on. One of the items on that list definitely needs to be the floors of this future home of yours. The condition they come in can make or break your budget, and they can also show some tell-tale signs of a major issues in your house. Take a closer look and pay attention to these red flags.
1. Look for sagging or dripping in your floors. If any is found near the bathroom or kitchen, it could mean bad pluming. Droopy floors anywhere else in the home are a potential indicator of a poor foundation.
2. Ask how old the house is. If the house was made before the late 1980s you should carefully examine any tiles you see. Asbestos was often used in tile installation up until the 80s, and if left exposed can be dangerous for your family. If the realtor doesn't know whether or not the floor you're looking at has asbestos, look for discoloration or measure the tiles to see if they match up to one of the three sizes that asbestos tiles came in (9”x9”, 12”x12” and 18”x18”). If you're suspicious you can call a professional in to examine the floor more carefully. It's always better safe than sorry, right?
3. Take a whiff of the various rooms as you walk through them. If you smell a noticeably musty odor you should keep an eye out for mold. The important thing to remember is that not all mold is visible when it comes to floors. If you don't see mold growing on the floor or any other part of the room it could be hiding in the sub flooring. Ask if the house has had any flooding or plumbing issues in the past, or if the owner has experienced former problems with mold. If so, be prepared to replace some flooring or move on to the next house.
4. Finally, carpeting is something to watch closely in unfamiliar homes. Carpeting can get NASTY over the course of its lifetime, not to mention moldy or dangerously slippery when it is worn down. Ask the homeowner when all the carpeting was last replaced and how often it was deep cleaned. Any older than five years and you should inspect it more carefully, and if it wasn't deep cleaned at least twice a year, be ready to replace it. After all, carpeting can accumulate up to 40 pounds of dirt a year. Gross.
While you may not and should not base your decision to buy a home solely on the state of its floors, it is a good element to consider when planning your budget. Leave some wiggle room for floor repairs and replacement or you could end up with some trouble down the road. And always remember that professional contractors are always your best bet in determining the threat of any floor, so call us today!