When purchasing a new home, most people do the typical foundation inspection in Columbia, MO, but forget the importance of having the home's foundation inspected. This is one of the most vital areas of your home since it keeps your home solid. The best way to avoid issues with the foundation is to have it inspected every so often.
What is a Foundation Inspection?
A foundation inspection is exactly what it sounds like. Individuals hire a professional to come out to inspect their foundation. The certified inspector will come out to discuss any problems or concerns you have about your foundation or anything you’ve noticed about your home.
The inspection will let you know if your home is safe to live in. If you have any cracks in your walls or ceiling, they will let you know if they need to be repaired or part of the settling process. Cycling temperatures affect foundations causing them to shift. A qualified inspector can let you know if these changes have affected your house and any repairs that you should make.
Why Should You Have a Foundation Inspection Done?
People have foundation inspections done for many different reasons.
Peace of Mind - maybe you have noticed some cracks in your ceiling you didn’t before, or perhaps you think a crack in your wall is getting larger. You definitely need to find out what's happening.
You're buying a home, and your lender requires it - If a house is unsafe, a mortgage company will not want to finance a home. They’re going to want to make sure that the funds keep up with the property.
A home inspector wanted it done - If a home inspector noticed abnormalities of the house or wall during his inspection, he might want a more thorough one done by a foundation inspector.
What Does A Foundation Inspection Consist of?
There are several facets to a foundation inspection that include:
A meeting with the inspector - this is when you and the inspector will discuss timelines, any specific areas you’re concerned with, and answer any questions you may have.
Visual inspection - this is when the inspector will walk around the inside and outside of your home and note anything he finds.
The inspection report - The inspector will draft a report letting you know anything he may have found, including specific areas of damage and recommendations for fixing it.
What Should I Expect From a Home Foundation Inspection?
Before a foundation inspector arrives at your property, you should know what to anticipate. Here is what a qualified structural engineer will provide you with.
Floor Elevation Survey
Before going into your home, the licensed inspector will gather information about your floor elevation. This is a tool used to measure floor elevations at different points in the house or building. A contour map is drawn to identify patterns of settlement.
This is typically the second part of the inspection. The inspector will walk around the outside of the home and look for areas that indicate damage to the foundation. They’ll look for cracks, areas of separation, bulges, and any indications that your substructure is uneven.
They also look at the water drainage, the landscape of your yard, the gutter system, around the home, as well as the type of vegetation that grows around your property. Trees can cause a lot of damage to foundations with their extensive root systems.
Inspectors will come in and check the interior of your home. Visually check for any visible damages such as cracks and separation. They’ll use various tests to determine if the walls and floors are level. In addition to floor and wall level checks, they’ll also make sure that cabinets are not leaning.
Windows and Doors
They open and close the windows and doors to make sure that they open and shut smoothly. If they tend to jam or stick, it’s a sign your foundation has shifted.
Check The Pipes
An inspector will check the pipes for dampness or if there are leaks. Water damage or excess moisture will cause mold, which leads to rotting wood. When the wood starts to rot, it can have all sorts of negative impacts on your home.
Inspection of the Substructure
The substructure is essential in maintaining your foundation's integrity. If this area is damaged then there will be areas that are not level and maybe some buckling too. During this inspection, the inspector will look at any beams that support your home to make sure they are stable, there is no visual damage, and are not rotting.
Before making their analysis, they will speak with you and inform you about all they found. Then, they will provide you with any recommendations about their findings.
The post-analysis report is a more detailed version of what they spoke with you about. This will include information about any current structural damage they discovered and any areas that look susceptible to damage. They will also know specifically where the damage is and how to fix the foundation.
How Long Does a Foundation Inspection Take?
This varies by the type of foundation you have and the size of the house. Crawl spaces and basements can take a few hours, while slab foundations aren't as complex and are done much quicker.
How Much Does a Home Foundation Inspection Cost?
This can change depending on who is doing your inspection and the size of the home being inspected. You can expect it to be anywhere from $300-$500 for the assessment and report. When you call around for different prices, make sure that the one you choose is done by someone qualified to do so. An unusually low rate likely indicates an inexperienced or unqualified contractor.
Hiring a Professional for Your Foundation Inspection is Easier Than You Think!
You may think you don't need a foundation inspection in Columbia, MO, but it's the only way to be certain you've pinpointed the problem. One of the most common reasons for foundation damage is due to water damage. Unfortunately, there are other reasons that aren't always as easy to pinpoint unless you're trained and qualified to do so. If you see any signs of foundation issues, make sure to call a respected and recognized foundation repair company to come out for an inspection.