A home foundation inspection is usually completed in one of two ways: by a structural engineer or by a non-destructive engineer. A structural engineer will normally consult with a local building official before starting the inspection process. During this time the structural engineer will evaluate any problems that are visible during the visual inspection. Any structural damage will need to be repaired and the restorative situation will have to be monitored. If there is visible damage, the engineer will discuss options with the local building official to correct the problem.
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If the damage does not appear to be severe, then a non-destructive engineer will probably be called in. A non-destructive engineer is someone who is not an engineer and does not have the same training and experience as an engineer. These workers are often found at home improvement centers or other repair shops. Non-destructive engineers will use a variety of methods to try and identify the exact source of the damage without causing structural damage. After the non-destructive engineer has determined the source of the damage, the repair worker can begin to repair the damaged area.
During the home foundation inspection it is important for the inspectors to be aware of any unusual signs. For example, if there are cracks in the walls, then these should be noted. Also, if there are drainage issues that they should also be aware of. By paying attention to any signs that are out of the ordinary, the inspector can make a more informed decision on what repairs need to be made. In most cases the inspectors will follow the recommendations of the local officials and repair the issue.
If there are obvious signs of a problem, such as sagging exterior doors or windows, then the costs associated with a home foundation repair expert will be significantly higher. If you find these problems, before you get the professional opinion of the inspector, you can use pictures and other information to make the repairs yourself. If the exterior doors and windows are failing to operate properly, but you do not notice any other signs of problems, then you can make minor repairs that will be easier to do yourself. For example, by replacing the exterior trim with PVC trim, you can make the door and window frames to operate more smoothly. There may also be some hardware involved in the repair that you cannot do yourself.
In addition to the exterior doors and windows, during a home foundation inspection you will also want to check the basement walls, floor framing, walls surrounding the basement, and any concrete, masonry, or steel floors. You will want to look for cracks in these areas as well as signs of water leaks. If you discover any cracks or leaks in these areas, you need to make the repairs right away in order to prevent further damage to your floors and walls. Look for signs of deterioration such as deterioration of concrete flooring caused by moisture permeability. Look for signs of deterioration of masonry walls caused by the failure of fillers to cure and dry between renewals.