Q. What will my home inspector check on my home's foundation?
A. The structure of a home’s foundation depends on several factors, including soil type, climate, structural materials, building footprint, topography of the area and age of the building. Whether you have a basement or a slab, a good foundation is essential to a safe structure.
A home inspector will visually inspect the interior and exterior of the house to determine what type of foundation was used, including the materials. The inspector will also assess the current condition of visible areas of the foundation, including noting cracks, leaks, and areas where shifting or settling are visible. Home inspectors are not engineers and are not licensed to discuss the structural integrity of a house or areas that cannot be visually assessed, so in some cases your inspector may recommend further investigation by a structural engineer.
What your home or commercial inspector can do is point out problem areas, check the grading slope, assess the drainage of areas around the foundation where water ponding may cause leaks, and point out conditions that may become dangerous. For example, standing water in a basement or crawls pace, evidence of previous water damage, or water damage near electrical elements can be safety issues for anyone occupying the home.
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