Understanding the Foundation Inspection Process

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If you are like many homeowners, you have no idea how vital a foundation inspection is. It’s also likely that you don’t fully understand what foundation inspectors do during this process. Overall, foundation inspection aims to evaluate your foundation’s condition and determine if any repairs are needed. This article helps you understand how that process unfolds.

What Happens During A Foundation Inspection?

The specific details of what occurs during a foundation inspection can vary. However, most foundation inspectors will perform the steps below to develop an accurate evaluation of your foundation:

  1. Evaluate structural integrity: One of the most crucial elements of foundation inspection is evaluation of structural integrity. The entirety of your home depends on the foundation for support. As such, if the structures in your foundation are damaged or ineffective, it’s vital to repair or replace them as soon as you can. Inspection helps you understand if such repairs and replacements are necessary.
  2. Assess the levelness of your foundation: A foundation inspector will also check to see if your foundation is level. When your foundation is uneven, it can indicate underlying problems such as differential foundation settlement.
  3. Perform an interior and exterior walkaround: Foundation inspectors should complete an entire walkaround of the interior and exterior portions of your foundation. As the walkaround occurs, your foundation inspector will be able to spot any problems.
  4. Create a written report of findings: After completing a foundation inspection, your inspector should create a full report of their findings. This written report will be valuable to you as it will describe the overall structural integrity of your foundation and indicate any potential problems and needed repairs.

When Should You Schedule a Foundation Inspection?

Clearly, foundation inspections are essential to the overall state of your foundation. However, many people don’t understand when they should occur. Below is a list of the most common instances in which a foundation inspection should take place:

  1. When buying or selling a home: The value of a home’s foundation cannot be understated. As such, you should not buy or sell a home without evaluating the foundation first. The state of a foundation affects the overall selling price and provides a clear idea of what repairs are needed.
  2. When you suspect foundation damage: If you suspect your foundation has damage, you should contact a professional for an inspection. Most homeowners are unable to identify the source of foundation damage even when they suspect it is present. By contrast, a skilled foundation professional can quickly identify your foundation issues and provide you with the ideal solution.
  3. Every five years: Regardless of other factors, you should schedule a foundation inspection about every five years. Regular inspections help you identify potential issues and repair them before they worsen and become more costly than necessary.

Signs of Foundation Damage

As noted above, one of the primary times you need a foundation inspection is anytime you notice signs of damage. Here are a few examples of indications that your foundation needs attention:

  1. Foundation cracks: A crack in your foundation wall is a clear sign that your foundation needs attention. Cracks can form due to differential settlement or hydrostatic pressure.
  2. Wall cracks throughout your home: When you have a foundation issue, cracks may not remain in your foundation. Instead, you may notice cracks in the walls or ceilings throughout your home. Drywall cracks and separations between walls and ceilings are two common signs of a foundation problem.
  3. Sloping floors: If your foundation becomes uneven, the rest of your home will also become uneven. One of the most noticeable signs this has happened is sloping floors.
  4. Stuck doors and windows: If your foundation has experienced differential settlement, it can cause the doors and windows in your home to be difficult to open and close. If your doors and windows are jammed, a foundation inspection is a wise decision.
  5. Moisture and drainage problems: If you have excessive moisture or standing water in the ground around your foundation, schedule a foundation inspection because water is the most common cause of foundation issues.

Signs of Differential Settlement

Are Foundation Inspections Expensive?

Estimating the cost of your foundation inspection is difficult. However, it’s safe to assume that this service will cost at least a few hundred dollars. Despite that upfront cost, foundation inspections are worth performing because they will alert you to damage that can be considerably more expensive to repair if you wait. Foundation inspections also help you prevent damage and maintain the structural integrity of your entire house.

Who Can Perform a Foundation Inspection?

You should never have an inexperienced person perform a foundation inspection for you. Instead, you should always depend on the most qualified foundation inspector you can find. Either a foundation repair contractor or a structural engineer are able to perform a foundation inspection. These knowledgeable professionals have the right insights to evaluate your foundation and provide you with an accurate report.

Reach Out to a Foundation Professional Near You

The overall condition of your foundation is not something that you should leave to chance. Instead, it’s best to schedule regular foundation inspections every five years or any time you notice signs of foundation damage or seek to sell your home.

In addition to inspections, it also helps to have a relationship with a foundation professional who can provide all the foundation repairs you need. If you are concerned about your foundation in the Triad, Triangle, or Eastern regions of North Carolina, contact us today to learn more about our services.