How to Inspect Foundations for Structural & Other Defects

Why do you think early foundation inspection is important? If you can detect problems in your foundation early enough, it would cost you less for you to fix them.

Otherwise, you may have to shell out tens of thousands of dollars to make the fix. In this short guide, you will discover four important areas you need to check when inspecting foundations for structural and other defects

Read on…

  1. Indoor checks

Watch out for any or all of the following:

  • Windows not closing completely unlike before when it was closing and opening easily
  • Presence of cracks in the tiles (either vinyl or ceramic) covering the concrete floor
  • Appearance of cracks in walls. The most commonly affected places are places where walls meet the ceilings, window walls and walls around the doors.
  1. Outdoor checks

Usually, the length of your foundation wall should be straight both vertically and horizontally. Confirm that this is true. Start your outdoor checks with the foundation. Use a level to confirm that the leaning walls are level. If you discover any bulge in the block foundation, it is a sign that there has been a shift in the foundation.

You can also discover similar bulge in a poured concrete wall.

  1. Check for flaws in the concrete

This is applicable to you if your house is on a poured perimeter foundation. Use a screwdriver to try puncturing few places in the concrete to determine whether it would chip or flake out. It should be difficult for you to make the puncture.

If otherwise, it is a sign that there is a gradual deterioration of the concrete. This usually happens when there is salty sand, a lot of water or both in the concrete mix. When this happens, the only solution available is to change the foundation. Most homes built in the early 1900s in some parts of the country were built using this type of foundation. Learn more.

  1. Check other parts of the structure

There is more to the foundational set up than just the perimeter foundation well. Check posts and concrete supports in the crawl space or basement. The posts should not only stand straight; it should also provide a secure support for the beam. The concrete piers should then provide a solid support for the bottoms of posts – there should be no puddles or wet frames. Use a screwdriver to poke the wood posts to confirm that there is no rot.

If there are puddles, wet frames, or any other sign of water in the basement (or crawlspace where there is no basement), it is a sign that drainage around the foundation’s perimeter. A quick first step is to unclog the gutter to allow unhindered movement. Also, ensure that there is a proper slope between the soil and the foundation. Typically, 6 inches per 10 horizontal feet.

  1. Cracks in the foundation

Usually, there are cracks in the masonry joints and at any L-shape intersection.

The cracks can either form a stair step shape or can be horizontal in shape. Click here for more information: http://crosstownengineering.com/projects/?cat=forensic-engineering

Comments are closed.