If you’re like most homeowners, you probably don’t think about your home’s foundation until there’s a problem. And by then, it’s often too late. Foundation damage can be extremely costly to repair, so it’s important to have your foundation inspected on a regular basis to ensure that everything is in good shape.
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about foundation inspection. We’ll tell you who performs these inspections and how long they typically take. You’ll also learn when the best time to get an inspection is and what signs to look for if you think there may be a problem with your foundation.
Finally, we’ll discuss the cost of foundation inspections and why it’s important to hire a professional inspector. Let’s get started!
What is a foundation inspection and why do you need one
A foundation inspection is a visual examination of the foundation of a home. The purpose of the inspection is to identify any potential problems with the foundation and to recommend solutions.
There are many reasons why you may need a foundation inspection. Perhaps you’re buying a new home and want to make sure the foundation is in good condition. Maybe you’re selling your home and the buyer’s lender is requiring an inspection. Or, you may simply be concerned about potential problems and want to have peace of mind.
In any case, it’s always a good idea to have an inspection by a professional if you suspect there may be a problem.
Who Performs a Foundation Inspection?
A foundation inspection is typically performed by a structural engineer, a professional who specializes in the design and analysis of buildings. The engineer will assess the condition of the foundation and make recommendations for foundation repairs or other corrective action. Engineers typically charge between $300-600 for a structural engineer’s report.
Foundation repair companies can also assess your foundation, with a very high degree of accuracy. In many cases, better than the engineer. Additionally, foundation companies give you a report for free in most cases. You can expect to be charged by a foundation company if you need the report expedited or for something more comprehensive, otherwise, it will most likely be a few days before you get the report.
How Long Does a Foundation Inspection Take?
A foundation inspection typically takes about 30mins – 1 hour to complete. However, the inspector may need additional time to access the crawl space if you have a pier and beam home.
If the inspector finds any problems with the foundation, he or she may recommend further testing. This could include a soil test or a surface moisture test. These tests usually take about an hour to complete.
The inspector will also review the exterior of the home to see what has caused foundation damage. They will check drainage issues, gutter, soaker hoses, holes along the perimeter and more.
The total time for the inspection and testing will depend on the size and condition of the house, as well as the number of foundation problems that are found.
When Should You Get Your Foundation Inspected?
Most experts recommend that you have your foundation inspected every two to three years. However, if you live in an area with a lot of clay soil, you may need to have your home inspected more often.
You should also need an inspection if you see any cracks in the walls or floors of your home, or if doors and windows start to stick. These could be signs of a foundation problem.
If you’re buying or selling a home, you’ll need to have a professional foundation inspection before the sale can be finalized. The buyer’s lender will usually require an inspection, and the buyer may also request one.
Signs that you may need a foundation inspection
There are several signs that you may need a foundation inspection. Some of these signs are visible, while others can only be detected by a professional. The most common signs that you need an inspection include:
1) Large Cracks On Your Home’s Exterior
One of the most obvious signs that you need a foundation inspection is large cracks on the exterior of your home. These cracks can be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal. They may run the entire length of your foundation or be isolated to one area.
Fine cracks in the mortar between bricks are not usually a cause for concern. However, if you see any cracks that are wider than a quarter of an inch, you should need an inspection.
2) Sticking Doors and Windows
Another common sign of a foundation problem is doors and windows that stick when you try to open them. This can be caused by the foundation settling unevenly, which puts pressure on the frame of the door or window.
You may also notice that your doors and windows are harder to close than they used to be. If you see any of these signs, it’s a good idea to hire an inspector.
3) Poor Water Drainage
The foundation of your home should be designed to shed water away from the structure. However, over time, the soil around your foundation can become compacted. This can cause water to pool around your foundation and seep into your basement or crawl space.
You may also notice that your gutters are overflowing or that there are puddles of water around your foundation after it rains. The drainage system around your home may also be blocked, causing water to back up and pool around your foundation.
4) Cracks in The Drywall
The cracks in your drywall may be small, but they can be a sign of a serious foundation problem. These are caused by the house settling unevenly. As the house settles, the framing of the house is put under stress. This stress is transferred to the drywall, causing it to crack.
If you discover any cracks in your drywall, have your inspection immediately. The sooner you catch the problem, the easier it will be to fix.
5) Door Gaps
The doors in your home should fit snugly within their frames. If you have doors that are gaps or sticking, this can be a sign of shifting and settling within your foundation. These problems should be solved as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
You can inspect your doors yourself by closing them and looking at the gaps between the door and the frame. If the gap is more than about an eighth of an inch, you may be dealing with a problem that must be addressed.
6) Bowing or bulging walls
If you have a basement, you should inspect the walls regularly for any signs of bowing or bulging. These problems are usually caused by water seeping into the soil around your foundation and putting pressure on the walls.
If you see any sign of bowing or bulging, hire an inspector immediately. These problems can cause your foundation to collapse if they’re not fixed.
7) Uneven Floors
If you have floors that are uneven or sagging, this is a sign of a serious foundation problem. These problems are usually caused by the foundation settling unevenly or because of water damage. Either way, you’ll need to have a professional inspect your foundation and determine the best course of action.
The floor is one of the most important structural components of your home, so it’s essential that it is in good condition. You may not think that a few cracks or uneven floors are a big deal, but they can actually be signs of serious damage.
8) Cracks in the Foundation
One of the most common signs of a problem is cracks in the concrete slab foundation. These cracks can be caused by the settling of the foundation or by the expansion and contraction of the soil around the foundation.
If you see any cracks in your foundation, it’s important to have them inspected by a professional. Small foundation cracks can sometimes be repaired, but larger ones may require the foundation to be completely replaced.
9) Wrinkling Posters And Wallpapers
If you notice that your posters and wallpapers are wrinkling or bubbling, it could be a sign of foundation problems. This is because the walls are no longer flat and even, which means that the foundation is no longer supporting them properly.
The longer you leave this problem, the worse it will become, so it’s important to get it fixed as soon as possible. You may need to hire a professional foundation repair company to fix the problem, but it will be worth it in the long run.
10) Popped Nails
Another common sign of foundation problems is popped nails. This is because the nails are no longer being held in place by the wood and are instead being pushed out by the movement of the foundation. This is usually a sign of more serious problems and should be addressed as soon as possible.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to home foundation inspection is that it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you think there may be a problem with the pier and beam foundation, it’s always best to hire a professional to come and take a look. A small problem now can turn into a much larger and more expensive problem down the road.
What to Expect During the Inspection Process
During the inspection, the engineer will walk around the outside of the house to look for cracks or other signs of foundation problems. He or she will also look for any gaps between the foundation and the ground.
The engineer will then go inside the house and look for cracks in the walls or ceiling. He or she will also look for doors and windows that are not level. The engineer will also check the floors to see if they are uneven.
After the inspection is complete, the engineer will write a report that will detail any problems that were found. The report will also recommend a course of action to fix the problems.
Foundation Inspection Cost
The cost of a foundation inspection will vary depending on the size and condition of the house, as well as the number of foundation problems that are found.
In most cases, the home inspection will cost between $300 and $600. However, if there are a lot of problems, the cost could be higher.
It is important to remember that the cost of the inspection is often worth it, as it can save you a lot of money in the future.
The Importance of Hiring a Professional Inspector
When it comes to foundation inspection, it is important to hire a professional. This is because a professional will be able to properly assess the condition of your foundation and recommend the best course of action.
Hiring a professional is also important because they have the experience and knowledge to properly inspect the foundation. They will also be able to spot any potential problems that could become worse over time.
Some of the benefits of hiring a professional include:
1) Experience and Expertise
As mentioned above, one of the biggest benefits of hiring a professional is that they have the experience and expertise to properly inspect your foundation. They will know what to look for and will be able to spot any potential problems.
Another benefit of hiring a professional is that they will be objective. This means that they will not be biased in their assessment of the foundation. This is important, as you want to make sure that the inspection is accurate.
3) Fast Service
When you hire a professional, you can expect fast service. This is because they will be able to quickly and efficiently inspect the foundation. They will also be able to provide you with a detailed report of their findings.
Safety is the number one priority when it comes to any type of construction. A professional inspector will have the experience and knowledge to identify any potential safety hazards. This is especially important if you have small children or pets who could be at risk if there are any structural or foundation issues with your home.
5) Quality Workmanship
When you hire a professional foundation inspector, you can be sure that you will receive quality workmanship. This is because they will use the latest equipment and techniques to properly inspect your foundation.
6) Peace of Mind
Finally, hiring a professional inspector will give you peace of mind. This is because you will know that your home is in good hands. You will receive a detailed report of any problems that are found, as well as a recommended course of action.
How to Find the Right Inspector for You
When you are looking for a foundation inspector, it is important to find someone who is experienced and knowledgeable. You should also look for someone who is reputable and has a good track record.
Some of the best ways to find a professional inspector include:
1) Seek Out an Unbiased Home Foundation Inspector
When you are looking for a foundation repair contractor, it is important to find someone who is unbiased. This means that they should not be associated with any particular foundation repair company.
2) Hire a Certified and Experienced Foundation Company
It is also important to make sure that the inspector is certified and experienced. This will ensure that they have the knowledge and experience to properly inspect your foundation.
3) Check Reviews
When you are looking for an inspector, it is also a good idea to check reviews. This will give you an idea of what other people have thought about their experience with the company.
If you know someone who has recently had their inspection, you should ask them for a referral. This is a great way to find someone who is reputable and has a good track record.
5) Get a Free Estimate
When you are looking for a foundation inspector, it is also a good idea to get a free estimate. This will allow you to compare the cost of different foundation repair companies.
By following these tips, you will be sure to find the right inspector for your needs.
Schedule Your Free Foundation Evaluation Now
If you are concerned about the condition of your foundation, it is important to have it inspected by a professional. At Brothers, we offer free foundation inspections. We will come to your home and inspect your foundation, as well as provide you with a detailed report of our findings. We will also provide you with a recommended course of action.
To schedule your free foundation evaluation, contact us today. We look forward to serving you.