What Is Involved in a Foundation Inspection? (Homeowners’ Guide)

August 16, 2022

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When was the last time you scheduled a foundation inspection for your home? If it’s been years, or you don’t know if it’s ever been inspected, you’re not alone! Too often, a foundation is the last thing homeowners think about when it comes to property maintenance and repairs.

However, a high-quality inspection is an excellent investment and can save you money in the long run! Thorough inspections spot damage before it gets too extensive, allowing you to schedule prompt fixes. In turn, you keep that repair costs as low as possible. Check out what’s involved in a foundation inspection so you better understand its advantages overall.

What is involved in a residential foundation inspection?

First, a foundation contractor looks for obvious signs of damage, such as cracks along foundation concrete. Second, they need to inspect the entire property to find indications of damage! Why is a full property inspection needed?

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One reason is that problems like wall and ceiling cracks or uneven floors are often signs of foundation damage. Two, a contractor should check for risks of foundation issues such as poor drainage or clogged gutters. Note some additional issues your contractor might check during a foundation inspection:

  • Basement dampness or trapped moisture in rooms with concrete floors
  • Mold along walls and mildew underneath carpeting
  • Gaps in room corners or between drywall panels
  • Popped drywall nails and baseboards or crown molding pulling away from the walls
  • Obviously, uneven door and window frames
  • Doors and windows that stick or that don’t lock easily
  • Moisture collecting around foundation concrete
  • Uneven piers and beams or other damage in a crawl space
  • Insect infestation
  • Moldy, musty smells around the home

Along with these checks, a foundation contractor might take measurements and check the level of your home. This information helps him or her to note if the home has sunk or settled due to a damaged foundation. They should also check for spalling along basement walls or on exterior foundation concrete.

Why is a foundation inspection important?

There are many reasons to schedule regular foundation inspections for your home! First, that inspection spots damage right as it develops so you can schedule needed repairs, as said. Second, a full-scale inspection might find foundation risks around your property so you can address these and avoid damage!

Consider some risks to your home’s foundation you might want to address. Moisture collecting around a foundation often leads to water damage, including leaks and spalling. In turn, your foundation contractor might recommend better drainage for your yard or that you clean the gutters. Also, they might recommend encapsulation or a dehumidifier for a home’s crawl space.

Additionally, tree roots wrapping around a foundation often risk cracks and resultant leaks. Consequently, a repair contractor might check the distance of mature trees to your home. They might also look for disturbed earth and other signs of overgrown roots.

Lastly, consider that a foundation inspection might tell you that it’s in good condition! A quality foundation in good repair increases or at least protects property values. In turn, you might list your home for a higher amount if you decide to sell. Above all, you can rest assured that you don’t need to budget for foundation repairs anytime soon!

brick foundation repair inspector

How often should a foundation be inspected?

Never assume that newly constructed homes don’t need a foundation inspection! While age and long-term moisture exposure risk damage, so does poor-quality installation. Also, lower-grade materials might break down far sooner than expected. In turn, even newer homes need consistent foundation inspections.

Additionally, many outside factors might damage even the toughest foundation. For instance, severe flooding risks damaging concrete and piers and beams. Putting undue weight on that foundation can also risk cracks and other damage. Consequently, don’t assume that a foundation is in good condition simply because a home is new or otherwise structurally sound.

With that in mind, consider a DIY foundation inspection every year, and at least twice per year. Do this after the change of seasons, meaning after winter and then after summer. These weather changes can cause concrete to expand and contract, risking damage.

Also, schedule a professional inspection every few years and if the foundation has suffered damage. A foundation contractor can check for damage deep in foundation concrete. They can also note issues around your property mentioned above. In turn, you’ll get a comprehensive report about your foundation and know if it’s time to schedule repairs.

Steps to avoid foundation damage

While a foundation inspection can help keep repair costs low, consider avoiding damage in the first place! Foundations tend to degrade over time, but homeowners can avoid premature damage by maintaining their property. With that in mind, consider some tips for avoiding foundation damage:

  • Ensure proper drainage on your property. A landscaper or foundation repair contractor can check if your lot needs grading or a French drain installation.
  • Keep a home’s gutters clean and clear! Rainwater washes over clogged gutters and then pools around a foundation. On the other hand, water washes through clean gutters to downspouts and then away from your structure.
  • Consider a dehumidifier inside the home if needed. Basement walls and concrete floors absorb trapped moisture, risking damage.
  • Never put added weight on the home without checking foundation strength first. This includes adding a deck, additional story, sunroom, and even stone floors or countertops.
  • Always invest in professional repair from a reputable contractor. Poor-quality fixes and low-grade materials don’t protect foundations very well! Consequently, the price you pay for a reputable contractor is an investment in your property’s condition.
  • In the same way, avoid DIY repairs and work such as drilling through basement walls yourself. If you need to make cuts to your home’s foundation, such as for installing new basement windows, call a professional! They ensure quality work that keeps your foundation damage-free.

Better Foundation Repair San Diego is happy to offer this information about a foundation inspection to our readers. Hopefully, you found it helpful and informative! If you’re ready for expert services, call our San Diego foundation repair contractors. We’ll schedule a no-cost foundation inspection and repair price quote. For more information, contact us today!

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