Nearly 25% of all homes in the U.S. will suffer some type of structural flaw in their lifetime. Unfortunately, most homeowners aren’t aware of foundation defects until it’s too late. If you treat structural issues lightly, you may end up paying for costly repairs over time.
No matter how solid your house looks, you should always do a foundation inspection once a year. This can save you from major damage.
Below is a detailed guide to know what to expect from a foundation inspection. Keep reading to find out more.
Step 1: Pre-Inspection
Contact a reputable foundation inspection company. A representative will meet with you to discuss your inspection needs. You can voice any questions or concerns.
Step 2: Actual Foundation Inspection
The experts will examine your property for any sign of foundational problems. This will help them determine the current condition of your structure. The inspection process will depend on what type of foundation you have — concrete slap, full basement, or pier and beam/crawlspace.
Step 3: Post-Inspection Report
Your inspectors will write up a comprehensive report that highlights any problems your foundation has and recommend repair solutions. The report may also include information about permits and whether your repairs will require a structural engineer’s involvement.
What Happens During the Inspection?
When inspectors assess your property, they check for any signs of foundation problems. Here’s how:
Walking Around the Exterior Perimeter
The specialist will assess the exterior of your property. They will look for any indication of leaning or bulging that show an uneven load on your foundation. Additionally, they will keep an eye out for pooling water, cracks, and fissures.
Scanning the Interior Perimeter
Inspectors will then check your property’s interior. They will look for cracks and separation on walls, which may be a sign of shifting foundations.
Your contractors will also inspect the floors and ceilings. They will focus on any cracks, bulging, buckling, warping, sagging, or sloping. Tests may also be done to determine how level your floors are to see if balls can roll when placed on them.
Inspecting of Substructure Supports
They will also check your substructure supports to ensure they are in good condition. Any signs of buckling and sloping may be a sign of trouble.
Assessing the Crawl Space
If your house has a pier and beam foundation, the inspection may differ slightly. The inspector will enter the crawlspace under your structure and scan it to determine its condition. These experts often look for mold or moisture damage.
They will assess the condition of your beams, piers, and joists. If any members are wet, rotten, or rusted, you may have a foundation drainage problem that you should take care of as soon as possible.
Checking Windows or Doors
The experts will examine your windows and doors. They should open and close smoothly. If they’re jammed or stuck, it’s a sign that the foundation has moved.
Your doors and windows should also not have gaps between them and the wall. Any sign of this can mean your foundation is shifting. These gaps can also cause structural damage over time since they let in water and pests.
Examining the Chimney
If you have a chimney, the foundation contractors will also inspect your chimney. Signs of cracking or tilting indicate that you have foundational damage.
In case your chimney shifts too much, it can collapse. To protect your family and your property, fix it fast.
Looking for Water Damage
Water damage can be a signal of foundation problems. The contractors will assess your basement, crawlspace, and entire property for any indication of moisture.
Taking Measurements of the Property
The inspectors will also take measurements of your property. They can use them to determine how to level your foundation. The measurements can tell them if certain parts of your property are 1 inch lower than others or even as much as 6 inches lower.
Consult with Expert Foundation Contractors
The goal of a professional inspection is to determine if your foundation is structurally sound. To find out your foundation’s health, call a professional to unearth any structural issues with your home’s substructure.
At Pinnacle Foundation Repair, we are experts in foundation inspections and repairs. With 20+ years of experience, you can count on our top-notch service.
Schedule a free foundation inspection today.