Foundation damage or structural defects can be extremely dangerous especially if left unattended for long periods of time. It is important to make sure that there are no problems with your foundation that might present a danger to you or anyone near your building.
Look for anything that looks unnatural or suspicious
When you take a look at your foundation you ideally should see no noticeable defects. However there are certainly some indicators that there bay be some issues with your foundation that you can see with the bare eye with no equipment. Document any cracks you see in the foundation. It is important to document not only a cracks location but also the direction the crack is in. Different size and angle cracks can help indicate what forces are contributing the the crack. You should also document any noticeable bulges in the foundation. Some small bulges can be the result of an accident during construction or they could be a structural necessity that poses absolutely no threat. However they can also be a sign of a imminent failure of your foundation so you should document them as well.
Contact a Specialist
Once you have documented everything you can see yourself you should contact a specialist to get their opinion on what the cause of the things you have documented is. Obviously you hope that they are going to tell you that everything is normal and you should not worry but if they do give you a horror story about how your house is going to collapse any moment do not panic. Just like any service out there, there are some people that are out to take advantage of your lack of knowledge ad get money out of you. You always want to get the opinion of more than one specialist and then do some research of your own to double check the accuracy of the things they told you before you commit to spending thousands on repairs to your foundation or reinforcements that you may not actually need.
Beware of the Expert that isn’t actually an Expert
When you look for someone to finally move ahead with what repairs you need you want to make sure that the person you are talking to is actually the expert they say they are. There are plenty of licensed professional engineers or architects who may be able to give you repairs that are safe or that work but are possibly overkill for your needs. Or they could cost you more than you actually need to spend because of their relative inexperience with foundation repair products that exist. The most desireable expert would be a civil engineer or structural engineer that has specific experience with building foundation diagnosis and repair.
Trying to inspect your foundation and find out what you need or do not need can feel overwhelming as it’s something that most don’t know too much about. It is important that you do your own research as well as get the opinion of qualified experts so that you can make the right decisions for you building and your wallet, see this site: http://crosstownengineering.com/engineering-services/foundation-repair/.