Most people will be able to notice some form of damage around their homes, such as hairline cracks, larger cracks, or walls that are no longer as straight as they used to be. However, seeing these things is one thing. If you wish to fix them, you will have to understand the underlying cause. A structural or foundation engineer may help with that. These experts are educated in the mechanics of foundation failure and repair. However, in some circumstances, repairs may be impossible. That is why getting an inspection done as soon as you start seeing any issues is crucial. The purpose of a house foundation inspection is to find out the extent of the damage. But it is also there to advise you on how to fix the issues. Therefore, we are here to tell you what to expect from a home foundation inspection.
Why You Should Get a Foundation Inspection
As you probably know, the foundation is the most critical structural aspect of any building. Structures with a weak foundation have a shorter lifespan and many problems during that time. While there are many reasons to inspect your house, you should do a foundation inspection if you have the following issues:
- Trouble closing doors and windows
- Cracks in the walls
- Uneven floors and walls
- Foundation failure
Since some of these issues can cause injury and even be deadly, you should get a home foundation inspection if you see any of these issues. Also, it would be a good idea to do a professional foundation inspection when you are looking to buy a new property. When you are purchasing a property, an assessment of the foundation may help you indicate if the home is structurally solid or not. If not, the examination might help you avoid having to do expensive repairs.
How Much a Home Foundation Inspection Can Cost
Since every property and scenario is different, there is no set price for foundation inspections, but the standard foundation examination costs between $400 to $750. The price can rise if you want to inspect the foundations thoroughly to make the necessary repairs. A more thorough job covering every possibility and requiring detailed planning can exceed $3000. Keep in mind that this is merely the cost of the inspection and does not include any repairs. Still, the advantages of paying for a house foundation examination are worth it. It is a small price to pay when the safety of your home is in question. Detecting an issue on time allows you to implement a solution quickly.
Additionally, you could save money by conducting a home foundation inspection. If you catch a problem early, you won’t need to pay for expensive repairs down the line. The main thing that will dictate the cost of the inspection will be the engineer’s hourly rate, your location, and any municipal fees. In some situations, the complexity and size of the project and accessibility can also add to the cost. For this reason, it is essential to communicate with your inspector so that you can figure out the best solution.
The 4 Elements of Home Foundation Inspection
Below are all the elements of a foundation inspection you can expect.
1. The Examination Of The Exterior Of Your Home
Typically, the first step in an inspection is to walk around the outside of a property. The inspector will look for bulging regions, which indicate unequal stress on your substructure. The walls of the house and the substructure should always be flush and level. Additionally, the inspector will look for signs of water damage and concrete fissures. Standing water may cause soil to move, leading to catastrophic damage. It might also be a sign of leaky plumbing in your house.
2. The Examination of the Interior of Your Home
The inspector will next inspect your home’s inside walls to find any damage. Cracks and separation indicate that you may need to do some substructure repairs soon. In certain circumstances, fractures may not be visible, but walls may be out of place owing to shifting foundations. After that, the inspectors will check the floors. If they find uneven flooring, this will indicate that the floors are moving. The ball test is one of the primary methods you can also use. Place the ball at one end of the room and leave it there. If the ball rolls, it means your floors are probably uneven. After that, the inspectors will look at your windows. If the windows can easily open and close, that means that there are probably no issues there. However, if the windows are jammed, it most likely means your foundation has shifted.
3. Crawl Space and Pipe Examination
If you have a crawl space in your home, the inspector will also involve them. The main thing that the inspector will look for is moisture and mildew, which may cause wood supports to decay. They will also look for rotting, which might weaken the supports. Substructure difficulties will occur if there is too much moisture in your home. Therefore, the contractor will also look at some of your pipes to see if there is any leakage. If a pipe has been leaking for an extended period, it can cause significant issues for your foundation.
4. A Forensic Examination and Possible Repairs
The last thing to expect from a home foundation inspection is a report from the inspector. The inspector will conduct a forensic examination of the collected data. With this analysis, they will try to identify the underlying source of the issue. Following the forensic study, the engineer will create a report outlining the extent of the services provided, observations, findings, and suggestions. Furthermore, if you need to do any repairs, the inspector will outline them for you and give recommendations on how to prevent issues in the future.
Author bio: Matt Smith has worked as a content writer for over five years. Recently, he has been writing for Cross Country Moving Group. His favorite topics to write about are engineering, home inspections, and relocations.