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Buying first home, deck/slab issues

We're in the process of buying a home and just went through inspection. Of all the issues found, I believe this to be the most serious. There is a deck resting on a concrete slab. Part of the slab is heavily fragmented. Another section of the slab has cracked, settled, and is now sloping toward the house. There's no obvious foundation damage, but there is what looks to be a retrofitted drainage system setup.

Looking for input in two main areas. First, how serious is/could this be? Something that needs to be addressed within the next five years, or something that we shouldn't even consider closing on until it's fixed? Second, what's involved in actually resolving the issues? We know that the deck construction itself has issues, so that's a separate thing.

The files I have are large, so here's a gallery:

You can see a paint line on the house which shows how far down the slab has settled.

Re: Buying first home, deck/slab issues

If the problem is just the slab under the deck, you can probably go a long time without worrying about it. Especially if you're planning to replace/repair the deck at sometime in the future. But I would make very sure that the problems with the slab don't extend into issues with the foundation. You mentioned that there is no obvious foundation damage, but given the state of the deck slab I would definitely contact a local, reputable foundation company for an inspection. The money you spend on an inspection could save you a huge headache if there are non-obvious foundation issues.

Re: Buying first home, deck/slab issues


The issue with the concrete that is cracked/broken is due to water getting under the slab and freezing. You did not mention what part of the country the house is located. But I can see in the pictures that it is caused by water freezing. All posts should have been set well below the freeze line in the ground. Each should have a nice 3/4" clean gravel bed for the post to sit, so that the water will drain from beneath the post.

The water running toward the house is a very important aspect. This needs attention right away. Tear all the concrete out, especially the sections that are close to the house, or right up against it. This is allowing water to flow thru/under the concrete and sit against the foundation of the house, while never being allowed to dry. That is where all the green mold and black stains on the concrete is coming from.

Once all the concrete has been removed, build the deck properly, with posts that are set below the frost line, as I have described above.


Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

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