A structural design inspection is carried out by a licensed, experienced structural engineer or inspector to determine the condition and soundness of a building or structure. This is different from an ordinary professional home inspection, which evaluates numerous other items in a home beside the structural and foundational components. When do you need structural design inspections in Tampa? The following are prime examples of when structural inspections are warranted.
When Buying or Selling a Home
Both buyers and sellers can benefit from structural inspections in Tampa. Knowing the true condition of a home’s load-bearing components is vital information that can affect a home sale from both directions. Buyers need to know they are purchasing a sound, stable home that is safe. Sellers need to know of any foundational problems, so they can undertake repairs or reveal the condition and negotiate a lower price. Any foundation or structural concerns discovered in an ordinary home inspection will likely be referred to a structural engineer for a more directed inspection.
When You See Concerning Signs of Structural Movement
Some settling and a few small cracks are usually not causes for concern. Some older homes can be prone to move or have sloping floors due to different types of materials used in construction, yet they can still be sound. New homes showing signs of settlement or movement, homes older than 10 years that show recent signs, and homes that have recently undergone remodels or additions and show recent movement should undergo structural inspections in Tampa.
Many people look down or straight ahead when checking for structural movement. But your eyes should also turn up. Sagging roof lines and/or ceilings is another sign that structural components may be broken, weakened, moving, or failing. Pay attention to any gaps where your chimney attaches at the roofline. A leaning chimney is a sure sign of structural movement and can be a safety hazard. Also, look for walls that bulge or lean outward.
When You See or Suspect Storm Damage
Florida gets battered by powerful storms rather frequently. Some signs of storm damage are obvious. But other damage can be hidden – especially damage to structural components or the foundation. Structural inspections in Tampa are a good idea after tropical storms come through and do any amount of damage to your home or business property.
This structural inspection should include any changes to your property that change the pattern of drainage. Storms that uproot trees and cause other damage can re-channel water toward your home or business structures, causing water damage and other foundation problems. Erosion is another problem after heavy storms. Storm damage mitigation may require the addition of dirt or other materials to improve drainage.
When You Experience Drainage Issues
Drainage issues can cause serious damage to a building’s foundation. Other damage can occur from interior leaks or ponding water that can cause accidents. Water draining toward your home or business and not away from it or pooling and standing nearby is a definite reason to call for structural inspections in Tampa. A structural engineer can pinpoint the issue and prescribe a solution to prevent serious damage to your building or structure.
When There is Evidence of Heat Loss
Florida homeowners may be strangers to problems like heat loss and ice dams. Long, hanging icicles along the eaves of home are beautiful but they are warning signs of heat loss that can cause serious structural damage. Our climate may make heat loss or airflow problems in a roof harder to detect. But this can still cause damage to a home or building. A structural engineer will know how to test for adequate airflow that keeps a roof and related components in good shape.
Contact Beryl Project Engineering for quality, reliable structural inspections in Tampa and the surrounding communities.