Looking for information about hiring a foundation inspector to look at your home? If so, don’t hit that back button because you’ve landed on the right page. In this article, we’ll go over what professional foundation inspectors do, who they are, how foundation inspections are performed, how much they cost, and more.
What Is A Foundation?
A foundation is the lower portion of a building that provides support and stability to the entire structure above it. Essentially, its the structure’s base responsible for transmitting the load of the building to the ground.
Foundations are designed and built using various materials such as concrete, masonry, steel, and wood, depending on the soil condition, climate, and architectural design.
A properly constructed and maintained foundation is paramount for the long-term stability and safety of the entire building. Various factors like soil type, moisture content, and weather patterns can cause the foundation to weaken, leading to structural issues such as cracks in the walls, uneven floors, or windows and doors that don’t close properly. These problems can compromise the integrity of the entire building, so it’s essential to address foundation issues as soon as they arise.
What Is A Professional Foundation Inspector?
A professional foundation inspector is an expert in identifying and assessing problems with your home’s foundation. This might be a foundation repair contractor or a structural engineer. A foundation inspector’s key skills include knowledge of building codes, construction materials, and soil types.
A foundation inspector is responsible for evaluating the foundation and checking for potential problems such as differential settlement. By performing a thorough inspection, they can detect any issues early on and recommend appropriate solutions. Their reports will include specific repair techniques, cost estimates, and timeframes for completing the repairs. This helps homeowners make informed decisions and avoid potential problems in the future.
A professional foundation inspector is a valuable resource for homeowners. By hiring a qualified and experienced inspector, homeowners can identify potential problems early on, avoid costly repairs, and maintain their foundation in top condition.
What Does A Professional Foundation Inspector Do?
A foundation inspector is an expert trained to identify and diagnose foundation problems that homeowners might not even be aware of. By conducting a thorough inspection, a foundation inspector determines whether any structural issues are caused by differential foundation settlement.
Once the inspection is complete, the foundation inspector will provide a detailed report outlining their findings and recommendations. This report may include a list of necessary repairs or upgrades and tips for ongoing maintenance to prevent future problems. If a foundation repair contractor does the inspection, they’ll also provide you with a repair estimate.
What’s Involved In A Foundation Inspection?
A foundation inspection involves a thorough assessment of your home’s foundation, including any cracks, signs of differential settlement, and other structural issues that may affect its stability.
The inspector will also check for any issues with the grading or drainage around your home. Poor grading or inadequate drainage can cause moisture to accumulate around your foundation, leading to soil erosion, differential settlement, and other issues.
In addition to visual inspections, the contractor may also use specialized tools and equipment to assess the structural integrity of your foundation. For example, they will probably perform a floor-level survey, and if you have a crawl space foundation, they might use a moisture meter to check for high moisture levels in the crawl space, which can indicate potential water damage or mold growth.
Why Do Homeowners Ask For A Foundation Inspection?
Homeowners might ask for a foundation inspection if they’ve noticed any of the following:
- Uneven or sagging floors
- Cracks in walls, ceilings, or floors
- Doors and windows that suddenly won’t close properly
- Bowed and/or cracked basement walls
- Stair step cracks in brick or masonry
These are all red flags, indicating that something is wrong and that you should ask for a foundation inspection.
How Much Does It Cost To Inspect A Foundation?
The cost of a foundation inspection will depend on your location. In some areas, the cost may be higher due to higher demand or a higher cost of living. The inspection cost may also depend on your home’s size and the foundation type.
A foundation inspection is a worthwhile expense as it can help you identify and address any issues with your foundation before they become serious and costly to repair. Additionally, many homeowners insurance policies may cover the cost of a foundation inspection, so it’s important to check with your insurance provider to see if you are covered.
Common Signs Of Foundation Problems
The most common signs of a foundation problem include the following:
- Uneven or sloping floors
- Wall, ceiling, or floor cracks
- Doors and windows that are out of alignment
- Stair step cracks in brick or masonry
- A bowed and/or cracked basement wall
- Leaning chimney or porch
- Torn or wrinkled wallpaper (The wall behind the wallpaper could be cracked)
Contact a professional immediately if you suspect your home’s foundation is compromised. A foundation repair specialist can assess the damage and recommend the appropriate action. Regular maintenance and inspections can also help prevent foundation problems in the first place.
Tips To Help Prevent Foundation Trouble
Fortunately, homeowners can take steps to help prevent foundation problems. These include:
- Inspect your home’s foundation at least once a year for signs of damage, such as cracks or differential settlement.
- Keep gutters clear of debris to prevent water from spilling over the side of the house and pooling around the foundation.
- If necessary, regrade the yard around the foundation to slope away from the home This can help prevent water from seeping into the foundation.
- Use downspout extensions to direct water away from the foundation before release.
- Consider relocating any water-hungry shrubs or flowers planted next to the foundation.
- Install a drain tile system. There is no better foundation waterproofing solution. For more information on drain tile systems, see The Importance Of Proper Foundation Drainage Around Your Home.
The cost of preventative measures is far less than the cost of repairing a damaged foundation. By taking proactive steps to prevent foundation problems, homeowners can save themselves a great deal of time, money, and stress in the long run.
If you think your home might need a foundation inspector to come out and take a look, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Since 1994, we’ve helped clients in Lincoln, Omaha, Southeastern Nebraska, Northwestern Missouri, and parts of Northeastern Kansas with foundation repair, basement waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation and concrete leveling for their homes.