Fixing foundation problems can be very costly, and it pays a lot to identify the problems early, which can save building damage but might not always be easy for homeowners to detect.
Being aware of the health of the foundation should give enough peace of mind to homeowners because by the time the problem shows up it might be too late to save cost. Since the foundation remains underground, the only way to detect the problems is to learn about some possible signs of damage that appear inside or outside the building.
Foundation problems do not happen overnight but take a long time to build up before you come to know about it from some unfailing signs like cracked and bowing walls or uneven floors that show that the foundation is sinking due to unevenness in the surrounding soil.
It Makes Good Sense to Take Up Foundation Repairing Project Based on a Structural Engineer’s Report
A better way to know about the foundation health without waiting for damages becoming visible is to engage a professional inspector from some reputable companies that undertake foundation inspection. Some inspections like checking the slab, pier and beam foundation elevation are quite straightforward and offered as a free service.
However, many times more in-depth inspection might be necessary which needs the involvement of a structural engineer who provides a comprehensive and unbiased report, and this would cost you some money. The value of a report from a certified structural engineer is quite high, and you should not mind paying for it because it can help to save money by avoiding costly repairs.
Even if you are inclined to take up a foundation repairing project by the experts at Foundation Recovery Systems https://www.foundationrecoverysystems.com, it is better to seek the opinion of a structural engineer.
Features of a Structural Engineer’s Report
The report prepared by a structural engineer is quite exhaustive and addresses a number of issues. The engineer would depend on an elevation survey and visual observations to prepare the report. After checking the plan of the building, the engineer would ratify its correctness or point out to some deficiencies observed.
The engineer might comment about the number of foundation piers ideally required for the foundation and its types by illustrating it in the floor plan of the home showing the foundation elevations. It will also show the appropriate positions of the piers. However, the report will not include a review of the construction plans nor mention anything with respect to soil test.
The observations of the engineer would include the following.
- Any cracks observed in the foundation and brickwork.
- Window separations or gaps and Fascia separations that can result from foundation damage.
- Uneven, floors, sagging crawl spaces, chimney tilt, chimney cracks, and collapsing retaining walls.
- Other pointers that tell about the need to take up a house leveling job.
Defining the Work Required for Repairing the Foundation
The structural engineer’s report becomes the primary document that points to the exact nature of damage that has happened to the foundation and building and defines the kind of repair that would be necessary.
The report becomes the guiding document for the company that undertakes the foundation repair project. The recommendations in the report provide the guidelines for repairs and homeowners know exactly what kind of work is necessary so that they can create a budget for it. The report will also mention the repairing processes that would be most suitable for the situation.
It might include recommendations like reducing deflection of slabs by installing piers, sloping the soil away from the foundation, carrying out plumbing tests and installing root barriers to prevent the roots of trees damaging the foundation.
Reputed foundation repair companies ask clients if they have a structural engineer’s report and it underlines the importance attached to the document.
Benefits of a Structural Engineer’s Report
Since the engineer is a third party without any commercial interests except for earning his or her fees for preparing the report you are sure to receive an unbiased report that paints the real picture about the health of the foundation.
The engineer does not have the motive of selling ideas for making a profit but would instead tell you precisely what he sees and provide an analysis of the causes and effects. If there are any shortcomings pointed out, you must accept it wholeheartedly because the engineer would not benefit from the work recommended. Therefore, getting a structural engineer’s report is the only way to have an impartial view of foundation health.
Roadmap for Good Repair
The report becomes the roadmap for the repair work that you must undertake, and you are aware of how the repair will help you in the long run. You know clearly what is necessary for a satisfactory foundation repair job.
You have all the information needed to prepare for the project both mentally and financially that helps to create a budget by knowing exactly why you are spending the money and what good can happen from it. The report becomes the starting point of your foundation repair project.
As you know what to do, you are confident that the foundation repairing company will use the report for doing the work correctly. It becomes easy for you to understand the severity of the problem and the remedies that can fix it with the assurance of long term benefits.
You have better control over the work as you know the steps involved and can monitor it carefully to ensure that there is no deviation. The foundation repair company also benefits from the report as they have a ready solution to the problem and are happy to ensure its proper implementation.
If you are dealing with an established foundation contractor, they can connect you to a structural engineer who prepares the foundation inspection report for you. You can even ask for some references from friends, acquaintances, and colleagues to locate a structural engineer with proven credentials.
Having the structural engineer’s report before embarking on a foundation repair project will give you the confidence that you are making the best use of your money to create a safe home.