Floor Damage Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore During a Home Inspection

Posted on August 19th, 2016 by

Floors can say a lot about the overall true condition of a home. If you are about to purchase a home, do not be fooled by top layers of tile, vinyl, laminate, or carpeting. Though a home inspector will likely catch any issues, you can do a little work yourself. Look, listen, and feel for these potential problems in the flooring.


If installed incorrectly, vinyl flooring can reveal imperfections in the subfloor, which can be caused by moisture, going over movement joints, and other issues. Nail heads that are working loose and crooked boards can easily telegraph through the vinyl surface over time. Carpet flooring can often hide these issues, but walking across the carpet in your bare feet may reveal some problems that have been covered up.

Prior Repairs and Patches

If the home has a basement or crawlspace below the subflooring, see if you are allowed to go underneath and look for repairs and other patches. Sometimes DIY flooring installers put carpeting or vinyl flooring right over small holes where pipes used to go through without patching the holes. Mold eats organic materials and can cause wood framing and subfloors to crumble. Poke at the joists and subfloor with an awl. They should feel solid and not crumble at all.

Abnormal Sounds

Squeaks, pops, and other noises as you walk across a floor can be a result of subfloor separation or improper tile or laminate installation. Laminates and some other materials are often installed as floating floors over subfloors, and padding is sometimes used to eliminate noise. Improper installation can result in a floor that makes a lot of noise. Subfloor separation from the joists can result in squeaks that cost a lot of money to repair.

Humps and Bumps

Flooring in Carrollton homes should be level, especially if the floors are covered in ceramic tiles. Transitions from one surface to another should not present a hazard for tripping. Carry something spherical, such as a marble or golf ball, to check for a level floor. If the ball rolls, have your inspector find out why. Uneven surfaces can eventually cause tiles to crack and grout to crumble.

Moisture and Smells

Get down on the floor and smell it, especially carpeting. Have the current owner or your inspector lift a corner of wall-to-wall carpeting in a room where you suspect moisture or other damage. Look for any signs of pet stains, spills, or other moisture damage, and negotiate a price adjustment for any and all damages found.

If you’re looking to replace the flooring in your home, get in touch with the flooring and design experts at CMA Flooring. In Carrollton, hand-scraped flooring, Berber carpet, and travertine tile are among the many popular choices for homeowners, and we offer these and many other attractive selections. For a free quote on flooring and installation services, give us a call today at 972-418-6606.