Doing a foundation inspection is important before you buy a house. Many inspectors will do this for free to give their clients peace of mind. If you are not sure about the condition of your foundation, then it is time to get it inspected. This article explains how to do a foundation inspection and why it is important.


You can start an outside foundation inspection simply by walking around the exterior of the house. Observe the foundation walls from either end by seeing down from either side. Look also for areas where the foundation wall bulges or lean slightly downward that may indicate uneven weight distribution on the foundation.


Home inspectors and structural engineers had performed inspections in the past without ever taking any special equipment or clothing with them. They carried hand held instruments and they were covered with a dust mask and safety glasses. It was necessary that they had protective gear on hand so that they did not get hurt accidentally. Now, these same inspectors carry high powered machinery along with harnesses and pressure garments. They are no longer bare handed but now have full protective gear.


The purpose of the foundation inspection is to catch problems right away before they become larger and more costly to fix. A poorly constructed home can cost home buyers a lot of money in the long run if foundation problems go unnoticed. Home inspectors can spot warning signs that foundation problems are about to come to the surface. For instance if there are cracks, uneven weight distribution or if large amounts of moisture are present then a foundation problem is about to happen.


There are other signs to look for as well. If the siding of the house is buckling or is falling off its frames then the foundation inspection should be called. Another common sign of a foundation issue is if the floors and ceilings are not level. If they slope or if there are cracks in the walls then foundation issues are about to erupt.


A foundation inspection is performed by both a home inspector and a structural engineer. The purpose of the structural engineer is to make repairs and modifications before the home inspection report is issued. In this way the home inspector is not surprised by problems that the initial report listed. The structural engineer makes repairs or modifications before issuing the foundation inspection report. This saves the contractor and the home inspector a lot of time. When you allow a contractor to make repairs and modifications before the foundation inspection, you are actually allowing them time to get things right.


If a home inspector discovers issues with the foundation before issuing the foundation inspection report then the home inspector will identify them and call them to the attention of the structural engineer. This can save the contractors time, as well as inconvenience. Once the engineer sees the problem, he can correct it right then and there. It would take the structural engineer hours to work on the problem and make repairs and modifications. But if he notices it in the report then he can make changes to the foundation issue without the home inspectors calling him.


Sometimes home foundation inspections are preemptive. This means the home inspector may identify potential problems in the building design before the home foundation inspections start. This allows the home inspector to make appropriate repairs and modifications to the design before the foundation has a chance to show signs of any problems. This is good for both the contractors and the home inspectors. And it saves the public from costly foundation repair.