How Do Inspectors Check the Foundation? (Complete Guide)

July 7, 2022

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When was the last time you scheduled a foundation inspection for your home? If you can’t remember, it’s time to make that call! Professional inspections spot damage right as it forms so that you can arrange for prompt repairs. In turn, you keep that damage from spreading and keep repair costs low!

One reason homeowners might put off a needed foundation inspection is that they assume they can check a foundation themselves. Two, they might assume that an inspection is more invasive and disruptive than it is!

To ensure you’re keeping your home in good condition, note some information about how a foundation inspection works. You can then discuss concerns about your property with an inspector near you. Also, you can know what to expect when they arrive to inspect your home!

home in need of a foundation inspection

How Do Inspectors Perform a Foundation Inspection?

First, note that a full-scale inspection means checking more than just the foundation itself! In addition to inspecting concrete or piers and beams, a contractor should check for damage all-around your house. Moreover, he or she will usually note foundation damage risks. These can increase the likelihood of foundation damage and similar issues.

Step one of a foundation inspection is a visual check for cracks, spalling, sagging piers, and the like. Step two might involve measurements of foundation elevations, so a contractor can find signs of sinking and settling. Three, they will usually check the surrounding soil for moisture, poor grading, and other issues.

Next, a foundation repair contractor usually checks your property for signs of foundation damage. This usually involves a check of both the inside and outside of your home! A repair contractor might look for and make note of the following issues:

  • Wall cracks, including cracks along basement walls, exterior walls, and interior walls
  • Cracks along interior ceilings or sagging ceiling sections
  • Damaged subflooring, soft spots along floorboards, or floor tiles coming out of place
  • Uneven door and window frames
  • Moisture buildup inside the home or signs of water damage, such as stained drywall
  • Mold and mildew growth

A contractor might also test doors and windows to see if they stick. Also, they might ask about pest infestations, roof damage, or plumbing issues! These problems might indicate foundation damage on your property.

How Do You Check for Foundation Problems?

A homeowner should avoid trying to check for foundation problems themselves. One reason is that it’s easy to overlook signs of damage. Two, you might also overlook reasons for foundation damage and needed maintenance to your home and property.

Also, note that many foundation repair contractors offer free inspections. Additionally, they can suggest ways of protecting repairs or preventing future damage. In turn, you can avoid having to make the same repairs repeatedly!

However, a homeowner might check for all the signs of foundation damage listed above. Also, note issues that often risk foundation damage:

  • Clogged gutters allow rainwater over their sides, which then typically puddles around foundation concrete. That concrete absorbs moisture and then cracks or weakens. If you notice clogged gutters or water stains along exterior walls, have a professional check that foundation!
  • Basement walls and floors absorb moisture especially if it’s left standing. In turn, persistent basement flooding risks foundation damage. Rather than just addressing those floods, schedule a foundation inspection after a burst water heater, outside flooding, and the like.
  • If you’ve added weight to the home such as with a new deck, sunroom, stone floors, and similar details, it’s time for an inspection! That weight can pull on a home’s foundation, risking cracks and weakening.
  • Tree roots often wrap around foundation concrete, risking cracks. After tree removal on your property, have the foundation checked for potential cracks and other damage.

How Often Should You Check Your Foundation?

Contractors often recommend a foundation inspection every three to five years. Consider a more frequent inspection for homes older than twenty years. Also, it’s vital that you schedule a foundation inspection immediately after an earthquake, sinkhole formation, or another emergency. Additionally, schedule an immediate inspection if you notice bulging or separating walls.

There are also many reasons to consider a foundation inspection before putting your home on the market. One is that you can prepare for potential buyers to lower their offers in cases of severe damage. Two, some foundation repairs are more affordable than you might realize!

Also, a foundation in excellent condition is a strong selling point for any home. Moreover, you might decide to make repairs if you rethink selling that home. Whatever the case, you’ll know your property’s foundation condition and can decide on repairs as needed.

Preventing Foundation Damages

Preventing foundation damage can mean saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars in otherwise unnecessary repairs! Regular inspections are the best choice for avoiding damage and keeping needed fixes affordable. Also, consider expert waterproofing! Water is typically the number one enemy of foundation concrete, so waterproofing helps prevent costly damage.

Additionally, ensure your property is graded properly. This refers to its slope or incline, which should run downhill from your property. If you’re not sure how to check a property’s grade, call a foundation repair contractor or landscaper. It’s also vital that you keep septic tanks, wells, and other flooding risks in good condition.

Above all, avoid putting added weight on the foundation without checking it for needed underpinning or other strengthening. Added weight includes heavy slate roofing, a new deck or attached garage, or even stone floors. These all pull on a foundation, risking cracks and other breakages. Ensure you check with a structural engineer as needed before taking on any such project.

Springfield Foundation Repair Specialists is happy to provide this information about foundation inspections to our readers. Hopefully, you found it helpful and useful for keeping your home in good repair! If you’re ready for an inspection or needed fixes, call our Springfield foundation repair contractors. We offer full-scale repairs, waterproofing, and even foundation replacement. Above all, we stand behind all our work with a full guarantee. For more information, call us right now!


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