Why it pays to inspect your foundations

House Foundation Damage

Have you given a second thought about the state of your building foundations?

Foundation inspections can help to assess the situation and determine the extent of any damage. Here are six signs that show you need a visit from a structural engineer.

Visible damage

The most obvious sign that you need to get a professional to check your foundation integrity is damage that you can actually see. This will typically present itself on walls, floors, doors and windows.

Cracks in your walls are usually nothing to worry about. Hairline cracks are pretty common and likely no cause for concern. If you find cracks, either inside or outside, that seem unusually long or thick, however, there may be some foundation movement.

Sloping and uneven floors are usually concealed under coverings such as carpets. If you find that floors appear uneven, you shouldn’t hesitate in getting a professional to have a look at your foundations.

If you find that doors and window are difficult to open or close or are sticking, this could be down to foundation issues and in particular movement in the building’s structure.

Buying or selling a home

Whether you’re buying or selling, you’ll want to make sure that the building represents value for money and isn’t going need extensive work in the near future.

An inspection can help identify any problems with the foundations that are going to be problematic in the negotiation stage and allow for transparency and trust from the start.

Local foundation problems

If you discover that neighbours are having trouble with their foundations, you may be at risk of the same problems as your property’s foundations are more than likely built on the same conditions.

A structural engineer can determine whether this is the case and you may even find that you’re able to deal with potential damage before it becomes a mammoth task.

Drainage issues

Around 20% of subsidence claims are a result of drainage malfunctions and water leaking into the foundation soil and washing it away.

Common indications are puddles near your home that don’t seem to go away as quick as they should, water marks appearing on walls and floors, an inability for grass to grow and suspicious amounts of soil washing away after heavy rain. Of course, these could be coincidental but it’s best to ask an expert.

Leaning building

If your home appears to be standing differently than it usually does or has in the past, foundations may be affected by subsidence. Contact a professional immediately to find out if this is the case.

Hopefully it will be nothing to worry about but if not, urgent remediation works will need to be performed before any more damage presents itself. Underpinning is the most common method of repairs but the alternative of geopolymer resin injections may be cheaper, quicker and cleaner and allow you to carry on as normal with minimal disruption.

Act quickly

The importance of dealing with any issues cannot be stressed enough. If your home’s foundations are under threat then the longer they go left unattended, the more it’s going to cost in the long run.

With a little help, you should be able to safeguard yourself against some of the most common foundation problems and ensure that you’ve protected yourself as much as possible.