The inspections should only be done by licensed structural engineers. Failing to hire an expert to carry out a foundation inspection will result in biased and inaccurate reports. Improper designing and construction of a home foundation is a major cause of many problems and will affect the structural integrity of your building.
An expert can conduct the inspection and help you identify any underlying problems in your property. You can’t seek inspection services for your basement on time if you don’t have the signs that you need. Keep reading to learn more about the situations when you should contact a structural engineer to do the work for you.
Signs That You Need Foundation Inspection
A substructure is a structural base that supports all parts of your house. Since it’s usually out of sight for homeowners, they may not always notice when it starts to fail. Damages to the substructure can cause serious problems.
Not only can it have a negative impact on the looks of your basement, but it can also be dangerous. For example, if your home’s substructure is compromised, it creates safety risks to children, the disabled, and the elderly.
One of the obvious signs of the need for a foundation inspection is bulging foundational walls. The walls should always be even. You may also find large cracks in your concrete. If there’s standing water near your property, the soil around it will shift, and this will result in uneven slab movement.
Most homeowners can’t notice sloping floors. Quick ball tests can help to find out how level your floor is. If the ball rolls across the room, chances are the substructure slopes, and you need to consult a structural engineer to get inspection services.
Another common sign that you need crawl space inspection is sticking doors and windows. No homeowner likes to see doors that can’t close or windows that stick. In most cases, the issues are early signs that the substructure needs to be checked.
How Much Does Inspection Cost?
The cost largely depends on who is doing the work. Usually, homeowners pay between $350 and $500 for both inspection and getting an engineering report. Some firms may offer a free inspection. However, such organizations tend to provide substandard services.
If you notice damages in your substructure, hire a specialist for inspection services. Some of the issues are cosmetic, while others require immediate fixing. An experienced professional will help you to identify the causes of different problems.
Other factors that may affect the cost of the project include the square footage of an area, your physical location, and the level of expertise and experience. Also, inspectors will charge more for their services for complex issues.
What Happens During an Inspection?
1. The Exterior perimeter
Usually, the first step during an inspection is walking the exterior of a house. Look for areas that bulge as these are indications of uneven load on your substructure. Home and substructure walls should always be flush and level.
Experts will also identify potential water damages and cracks in concrete. Standing water can result in shifting of soil, and this often leads to serious damages. It can also be an indication of leaking pipes in your home.
2. The Interior Perimeter of Your House
Inspectors will then check the interior walls of your home to identify any damages. Cracks and separation are signs that you need substructure repairs. In some cases, the cracks may not be present, but you’ll notice that walls are out of place due to shifting foundations.
Specialists will then check floors. If you notice that floors are uneven, that’s an indication that the floors are shifting. Tests are done to establish whether balls will roll when placed on your home’s floor.
3. Windows and Doors
Specialists will also check windows and doors. They should open and close smoothly. If they are jammed, that’s a sign that your foundation has moved.
4. Checking the Crawl Space
If there’s crawl space in your home, ensure that it is checked. Experts look for moisture and mold, which can lead to rotting of wood supports. The supports should also be inspected for rotting, which can weaken them.
5. Check the Pipes
If there’s excess moisture in your house, you’ll experience substructure problems. Pipes should be inspected to identify any leaks. If a pipe has been leaking for an extended period, hire professionals for a home inspection.
6. Inspection of Substructure Supports
Checking substructure supports is an essential part of a professional inspection. The system of supports should be in good condition. Ensure that they are level, and there’s no buckling.
Call a Professional
At Ground Up Foundation repair, we are middle Tennessee’s experts in foundation repair, basement waterproofing, and crawl space repair. Reach out to us today to discuss your next foundation inspection or for your other basement or crawlspace needs.