Free Professional Foundation Inspection in Houston
If you are starting to notice signs that your home foundation might be settling, cracking or moving, a free foundation inspection is key in making sure you know exactly what your home is experiencing. At AAA Foundation, our foundation repair inspectors are certified and have the highest level of training and expertise when it comes to identifying any type of home foundation problems.
What is Involved in a Houston Foundation Inspection
It is very important to find out exactly what a house foundation inspection involves. Regardless of the area you live in surrounding Houston, you want to ensure that you bring in certified foundation professionals to do your inspection.
Almost all companies that you select should provide a free foundation inspection and repair estimate after they review your homes structure. Typically you will contact your foundation inspection company and set up a time for a review of your foundation to be completed. The day of the appointment, you will get a phone call from your inspector to confirm the appointment time. The foundation specialist will then review the interior and exterior of your home for any signs of foundation movement. The inspector will take elevations of the interior floor of the entire home and document those measurements. They will also evaluate the exterior for any cracking and note those as well.
What Takes Place During the Foundation Inspection Process?
If you are on a slab foundation the inspector will first meet with you, the homeowner, and listen to the concerns you have with your foundation. They may ask you to walk through your home with them and point out anything that you have noticed that is out of the ordinary before they get started. They will then move to the outside of your home and take exterior home measurements. Next they will evaluate the entire exterior of the home and document any slab separation, brick cracking, fascia board breaking and all other anomalies.
Once the exterior of the home has been fully documented, the inspector will then move into the interior of the home to continue to check for additional damage. During this time he or she will look for any additional cracking in the walls, floors and ceilings. They will inspect for any damage that may have been previously hidden or repaired as well. The main process that will take place inside of your home is the documentation of the house elevation. The contractor will place an electronic level in a central point in your home to gauge how far above or below each area of your home is compared to the central reference point. Each time the contractor inspects a point in your home they will document the elevation recording on their floor plan sheet.
Once the entire exterior and interior physical inspection is complete, your Houston foundation expert will walk you through all of the findings noted in their report. Next, the foundation contractor will sit with you and explain how your home elevation has moved and what the current measurements are. Lastly, they will draw up a detailed plan on pier placement throughout your home and how the placement will assist in leveling and stabilizing your foundation. Sometimes pier placement may not be needed as home settling is sometimes minimal and only cosmetic adjustments to sheet rock are needed. In other cases, it may be necessary to dig trenches under the home to place piers depending on the severity of the foundation repair needed.
What An Inspection will Cost
All inspections by AAA Foundation Service are performed at no cost throughout the Houston metropolitan area for homeowners. If you do not own the home and are looking to get an inspection prior to a home purchase in the cost is typically between $250 and up depending on the size of the home.
Be Present During Your Foundation Inspection
If you want to know how extensive your foundation damage really is, you will want to be present during the entire process. The knowledge that you possess as the homeowner will typically lend itself to identifying any issues that surface during the review of your home foundation. Also, as a homeowner, there is a great deal of insight that can be taken away as a learning experience during a home inspection. Make sure to ask any question that you are looking to have answered and ensure that your contractor answers all of your questions efficiently and effectively. For a no-obligation inspection, give us a call today. AAA Foundation Service is the best foundation repair company in Houston.
Foundation Inspections Terms
The foundation is one of the most important parts of a building, being responsible for bearing the weight of the home that sits atop it. Unfortunately, as time goes on, foundations often develop problems that leave a home under-supported. This may lead to structural issues that reduce the home’s value, while also making it difficult to inhabit.
For that reason, you should have your home inspected regularly for signs of foundation trouble. Yet many homeowners shy away from this important form of maintenance because they do not understand the language used to describe foundation troubles. This article will help to put you at ease by discussing three common terms used when discussing a home’s foundation.
Structural integrity is a general term used to designate a component’s capability of bearing the weight of the overall structure. This term encompasses such things as the component’s stability, strength, and over soundness. If any of these qualities have begun to suffer, it may place the structure – in this case, your home – at serious risk of damage.
Where a residential foundation is concerned, the signs of poor structural integrity include any of the following:
– Partial collapse
– Material degradation
A trained foundation inspector must carefully look for signs of any such issues. Depending on their severity, these symptoms do not always present a serious integrity issue. For instance, while cracks are problematic in that they may allow water to enter your home, in many cases they will not negatively affect the overall structural integrity.
The concept of deflection comes up regularly with respect to foundation inspections. Deflection refers to the extent of bending observable in a structural element. For instance, the shape of a structural beam that has been loaded with an excessive amount of weight will become distorted. The pressure will cause it to take on a curved shape.
Engineers express deflection in terms of the degree of deviation from a straight line. Deflection is often measured through what is known as a floor elevation survey. This type of survey measures any changes in the height of your floor. While useful, this information can be difficult to evaluate properly without further breaking down the concept of deflection.
Two principal types of deflection exist: overall deflection and local deflection. When evaluating a foundation, overall deflection tends to be much more useful. It gives the best picture of the dimensional aspect of the entire foundation. Changes on this level almost always stem from problems with the foundation. For instance, one side of the foundation may be gradually sinking due to insufficient anchoring.
As you can probably guess, local deflection involves measured amounts of deflection that occur within an area smaller than that of the entire foundation. Local deflection can easily trick less experienced inspectors into believing a foundation problem exists. In fact, the issue often involves only the building materials of the floor – and not the foundation that lies beneath.
Without prior measurements of things like floor elevation, deflection can be tricky to verify accurately. An inspector simply may not have the sort of information needed to prove that a foundation has begun to move undesirably. An inspector will often measure what is known as time-change elevation to get a better picture of a foundation’s stability.
The first step in such a test is to set a fixed number of monitor points, whose elevation is closely measured. After a set amount of time – known as the monitor period – a second measurement is made. Time-change elevation refers to any difference between these two measurements and strongly indicates that a foundation has continued to shift or sink.
To prevent costly and invasive problems, be sure to have your foundation inspected regularly for signs of trouble. For more information about what will happen during a foundation inspection, feel free to call our pros at AAA Foundation Service.
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