We don't expect your foundation will last quite so long as Notre Dame's — more than 858 years. Foundations are meant to take a lot of weight for the lifetime of the structure, but some may need a little help over the years.
For people selling or buying a home, a home foundation inspection is an essential step of verifying the home is safe and the price is right. Also, if you start seeing signs of a foundation in distress you'll want to get an inspection.
So what should you expect from an inspection? Is it going to be invasive? How can you tell you really need work on your foundation to be done?
Keep reading to see the answers to those questions and more!
Why Would I Need a Home Foundation Inspection?
A home foundation that is properly taken care of can last as long as 200 years. But that doesn't mean you can leave it alone for that whole time without any TLC. For that, you need to know what the foundation needs in order to last.
A home foundation inspection will more than likely start with an overall home inspection. A home inspector has knowledge about general home construction, building codes, and common warning signs for major issues.
Many times there will be an overall issue that either goes unnoticed or they will see there's a problem but don't know the source. Enter the home foundation inspection and the contractor performing it.
This is almost always due to the process of buying or selling a home unless there's a problem you are concerned about.
Some of the warning signs you'll see with foundation issues are:
• Windows that no longer open or close easily
• Water leaks in the basement
• Cracks on the interior or exterior walls
• Zig-zag cracks in brickwork
• Gaps in the caulking of windows or doors
• Misaligned crown molding
• Doors that don't close or fit like they used to
• Basement walls are bowing
• Sloping floors
• Split wallpaper
Just one of these things by itself doesn't necessarily mean your foundation needs major help. Some are more serious than others, such as cracks in walls or bowing. Sticking windows and doors could be a number of other issues than your foundation.
Since the general home inspector isn't an expert but might suspect something, they'll call in a foundation expert.
What Happens During a Home Foundation Inspection
During the process, the contractor or structural engineer will inspect the foundation, basement or crawl spaces, framing, brickwork, and the interior and exterior walls.
First, they will try to determine if the house was properly designed. Second, if contractors built it correctly and without cutting corners. Third, if the structure's integrity has been maintained to continue performing safely as a home.
How Can You Prepare For a Home Foundation Inspection?
Clear debris and dirt from around the foundation. Cut away trees, shrubs, and other plant growth to allow access to the foundation.
It's a good idea to clear out the crawl spaces since they'll need access anyway.
Basically, make sure that you allow access to all areas of the foundation. If you know a water heater or other appliance is leaking, fix it first. This is because water damage is a sign of leaky foundations too, and could be misunderstood.
Building On Good Foundations
BOL-DAN Foundation & Masonry are your Ottawa and Outaouais region foundation and masonry experts. We've built our experience and reputations through years of restoring, inspecting, and building foundations and other masonry.
Don't delay inspecting and fixing your foundations. Without treatment, things will get much worse!
Contact us today and trust us to get your home foundation inspection job done right!