Common mistakes agents make
Using the term “cracked slab”
This is a slang term. No engineer should ever use this term. When an engineer hears an agent use it, he or she will probably not say anything, but they will cringe inside. To an engineer, all concrete has cracks. After all, that is why we add steel to concrete. The steel restrains the cracking so. The design methodologies used to design slab on ground foundations assume that the concrete will crack.
Another, more important, reason to not use this phrase is that when a home buyer or seller hear the phrase “cracked slab” they think that it means the foundation has failed. If that were true, then every concrete slab on ground foundation would have to be condemned. That does not make any sense.
Repeat after me: “slab foundations do not fail, they perform better or worse”
Structures fail by collapsing. Slab-on-ground foundations cannot collapse, they are already on the ground. There are three important questions that every buyer needs answered: how well or poorly is the foundation performing, is the apparent performance acceptable to the buyer, and is foundation repair necessary or a reasonable option.
Here is a direct quote from a standard engineering textbook
A common misconception, even among some engineers, is that foundations are either perfectly rigid and unyielding, or they are completely incapable of supporting the necessary loads and fail catastrophically. This “its either black or white” perspective is easy to comprehend, but this not correct. All ….foundations have varying degrees of performance that we might think of various shades of gray.
Encourage sellers to retain an engineer when appropriate
Encourage home buyers to retain an engineer when appropriate
Here is my advice: always c ks
Point your home buyers reliable sources of information about the Seller’s Disclosure Notice
Point your clients to good resources for information about slab on ground foundations
Make sure your buyers and sellers understand when to use a Professional Engineer and when to use a foundation repair contractor