A foundation inspection is a process of assessing the condition of the foundation of a building. The inspector will look for any defects or damage that may have occurred to the foundation, as well as any potential causes of these problems. The inspector will typically examine the foundation closely for signs of water infiltration, settlement, and cracks. They may also use special equipment, such as ground-penetrating radar (GPR), to get a more detailed view of the foundation’s condition.
The inspector will typically examine the following areas:
The inspector will look for cracks in the mortar of the foundation, any evidence of flooding, stains on the walls and floor base plates. The inspector will also check the condition of the basement windows and doors and the framing and sheathing.
The inspector will look for cracks in the slab (the poured concrete) and the metal reinforcement bars (rebar). They will also look for evidence of water infiltration around doors, windows, walls, posts, piers and columns.
The inspector will look for signs of moisture on the slab surface or earth. The inspector may also try tapping the floor with a rubber mallet or stepping on the floor to check for weak spots. They should also look for any damage from trees, roots or animals underneath the home.
The inspector will look at all access points to ensure they are sealed. The inspector will also ensure adequate ventilation under the house and that the insulation is installed correctly. They will look for any signs of water infiltration, pests, or damage to the framing or sheathing.
Pier and Beam Foundation Inspection
The inspector will look for cracks in the pier and beam foundation, evidence of settlement, and any signs of water infiltration. They will also check the condition of the floor framing, ceiling joists, and roof sheathing.
The inspector will look for cracks, bulges and separation from the foundation walls and evidence of leakage around any openings such as windows and doors. They will also check the exterior grade on a foundation wall for proper drainage. They may need to excavate a small area around the home to inspect the exterior of the foundation wall.
Ground Level Deck
The inspector will look for any signs of settlement or movement and check the deck joists and beams for rot or decay.
Attic Floor Inspection
The roof structure is often visible from the attic floor. The inspector will look for evidence of damage to the roof decking and joists. They may also need to drill a small hole in the ceiling to check for any signs of rot or decay behind the interior wall.
The inspector will look for cracks in the floor, rot or decay and missing mortar from the foundation wall. They may also need to remove a small piece of siding to check for any exposed insulation.
Utility Rooms and Outbuildings
Inspectors will look for leaks around the appliances and evidence of any standing water or rot. They will check for proper ventilation and drainage for outbuildings such as detached garages, sheds and carports.
The inspector will also check the home’s grading and drainage. They will ensure that water drains away from home and does not pool around the foundation. The inspector may also recommend having a soil engineer evaluate the soil around the house to determine the potential future settlement issues.
Recommendations and Report Delivery
The report will include a brief description of the foundation inspection. This section will summarize the areas inspected, and any problems found, along with a general assessment of the foundation’s condition. If no serious issues are found, the report will say so; if there is significant damage or distress to the foundation, the report will indicate what issues must be addressed for the structure to remain safe. The report will also include an estimate of the cost to repair any problems found. The inspector will not perform any repairs, but they can provide information about local companies that specialize in foundation repair work. The report will also include recommendations for further evaluation or repair work.
A thorough inspection can reveal many potential problems with a foundation and whether or not corrective action may be needed. An inspector can also provide information about the severity of the issues and potential costs for repair work.
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