What to Look for When Buying a House on Stumps
Updated: Feb 15, 2021
Are you buying a house on stumps? Worried about whether they're in good condition or if you'll end up having to get the place restumped? We’ve put together a list of things to look out for when inspecting house stumps on your own.
Walking through the house, the most common way to detect problems with stumps is to feel for movement under your feet. A ‘springy’ floor, or even rattling glasses in cupboards suggests problems with the stumps. If you suspect your home has an uneven floor, it probably does. An uneven floor suggests there is significant movement in the stumps, base or subbase.
Always be sure to check if windows and doors open and close easily. If they don't, this indicates movement in the sub-floor. It is important to check all areas of the house as problems on one side of the house will not necessarily present in other areas in the home.
If you are inspecting a low set house (low to the ground), take a torch with you so you have maximum visibility under the home. Obvious problems such as cracked or decaying concrete stumps, rusting steel or gaps between subfloor and support piers should be more easily identified.
Access is paramount when re-stumping or levelling a home, so overgrown gardens, cladding between stumps and any objects placed against stumps or underneath the house will not only slow the levelling process down but encourage pests to access the home.
Timber rot is very damaging and can be inconspicuous to the naked eye. One way to check for it is to poke a screwdriver or similar into the timber stump, it comes away in shreds or pieces or enters the timber easily, this indicates rot damage. This is particularly common underground, so you might have to dig a little.
Termites are another destructive element that can affect house stumps over time. Signs of termite damage include mud tubes they build from the ground up to the timber structure of the stumps tunnel-like lines on the surface of the timber and frass (termite droppings) on the ground next to timber. Termites also love timber rot, so it is important to check for signs of both prior to purchase.
Bohm Industries is available to conduct a pre-purchase inspection to provide you with the necessary information about the condition of the stumps and subfloor.