Foundation Inspection

What is a foundation inspection?

A foundation inspection is a thorough evaluation of a property’s foundation by a trained evaluator. The inspector looks for signs of damage, deterioration, safety issues, or structural issues. This review includes a visual inspection of the foundation and surrounding areas and any necessary testing or measurements to assess the foundation’s stability. A solid foundation inspection can help identify potential issues and provide an expert opinion on structural repairs or maintenance needed to ensure the foundation remains structurally sound.

A close-up of a pair of hands of a foundation inspector operating a tablet. In the background is a teal house and deep green plants.

What does a foundation inspection involve?

A foundation inspection is a comprehensive examination of the foundation of a building to assess its structural integrity and identify any issues that may require repair or maintenance. During a foundation inspection, a qualified inspector will examine the foundation walls, footings, slabs, piers, and beams to look for signs of foundation cracks, settling, water damage, and other issues. They will also inspect the exterior of the building, looking for signs of damage, such as vertical cracks in the brick veneer or stucco, and any signs of water damage or drainage problems.

The inspector will typically use various tools and equipment during the inspection, including moisture meters, thermal imaging cameras, and specialized sensors that can detect movement or settling. They may also use excavation equipment to inspect the footings or slabs below the surface.

Based on their findings, the professional inspector will provide a detailed report outlining any issues or concerns with the foundation and recommendations for repairs or maintenance. It is essential to have a foundation inspection conducted by a qualified professional, like a structural engineer, as early detection of any issues can help prevent costly repairs and ensure the safety and stability of the building.

A vertical crack in a concrete foundation wall found during a foundation inspection indicates significant signs of structural damage.

What are the signs that I need a foundation inspection?

While structural engineers can spot the obvious signs of major issues with a foundation, most of us aren’t trained foundation repair contractors. But even the most inexperienced property owners can learn the symptoms of a potential foundational issue to know when to hire a professional foundation inspection.  

If you notice any of the following warning signs, it may be time to consult with a foundation inspector:

  1. Visible cracks in your walls, floors, or foundation: This is one of the most common signs of trouble. These can run in any direction; vertical and horizontal cracks are equally problematic, especially if they are wider than 1/8 inch. Hairline cracks may show up first and should be inspected.

  2. Uneven or sloping floors: If you notice that your floors are sloping or rough, even in just a few places and not across the entire house, this may be a sign of foundation damage and the need for concrete leveling.

  3. Doors and windows that stick: When a house foundation shifts, it can cause an uneven load on the support beams, which causes doors and windows to become misaligned, making them difficult to open or close.

  4. Gaps between walls and ceilings or floors: If you notice gaps between your walls and ceilings or floors, this may be a sign of foundation settlement. Because the entire building doesn’t settle evenly, it creates various issues in homes, including gaps.

  5. Cracks in your chimney: Cracks or crooked chimneys can indicate larger issues like the exterior walls are settling or shifting.

  6. Sagging or bowing walls: If you notice that your walls are sagging or bowing, this may be a sign of foundational damage.

How frequently should I get my foundation checked?

It’s recommended that homeowners have their foundation inspected at least once a year, especially if the home is over ten years old. However, certain circumstances may warrant more frequent inspections. For example, inspecting the foundation more frequently is a good idea if the house has expansive soils or seismic activity.

Additionally, if there are any visible signs of foundation issues, such as cracks in walls, sticking doors or windows, humidity build-up in the crawl space, or uneven floors, it’s essential to have a professional inspection performed as soon as possible. Catching foundation problems early can help prevent more severe and costly damage.

How can a foundation inspection prevent future problems?

A foundation inspection can detect issues with your foundation before they become severe and costly problems. By identifying any damage or weakness in your foundation, a professional inspector can recommend the appropriate repairs and put your mind at ease. Regular foundation inspections can help prevent future problems by catching issues early on and addressing them before they worsen. This can help ensure the safety and stability of your home or building and save you thousands of dollars in the long run by avoiding more extensive repairs. Additionally, a foundation inspection report can be helpful when selling or buying a property, providing peace of mind to potential home buyers.

A foundation inspector puts his clipboard on the light colored brick side of a garage to highlight a crack during a foundation inspection.

What is the average cost to have your foundation inspected?

A foundation inspection varies, anywhere from $300 to $1000. The size and age of a home, the location, the square footage, and the complexity of the inspection change the price.

It’s important to remember that while a lower price may seem appealing, choosing a reputable and experienced inspector is essential. Hiring an inexperienced or unqualified inspector may result in missed issues, leading to more significant and costly repairs in the future. In addition, a professional inspection report can be used as a bargaining tool when negotiating the price of a home or during a home sale.

Overall, a foundation inspection costs a small investment compared to the potential costs of repairing major damage. It’s recommended to have a foundation inspection performed by a professional every few years or as soon as any signs of foundation problems arise.

Frequently Asked Questions

What foundation types do your foundation inspectors work with?

Our foundation inspectors are well-equipped to work with all types of foundations, including concrete slab and beam foundations, which are the most common foundation types in the area. As foundation repair experts, they have extensive knowledge and experience in identifying potential foundation issues and determining the best repair solutions. Our inspectors are trained to perform comprehensive inspections, evaluating the foundation's condition and identifying structural damage or deterioration signs. They also assess the soil conditions around the foundation and determine whether additional support may be needed to prevent future problems. Regardless of the type of foundation, our inspectors have the expertise to provide accurate and reliable assessments and recommendations for repair or maintenance.

What happens after the inspection?

We provide you with a post-inspection report that details any structural issues identified. The inspector will walk you through the signs of foundation damage and help you understand the steps needed to repair the damage and the cost of foundation repair work we offer.

Where do you provide inspections?

Ready to go?

An inspection by a foundation repair specialist is available. Contact us to schedule one today!