IFE OFFERS A FULL LINE OF ENGINEERING SERVICES
Exterior Visual Inspections
Exterior visual inspections The exterior inspection identifies the grade of the lot for drainage problems, slopes and physical damages to the structure. The damages include foundation cracks, brick and mortar cracks, open expansion joints, separation of brick veneer from windows, trim separations and fascia gaps. Each of these damages provides vital clues to what is happening to the structure.
Interior Visual Inspections
The interior inspection identifies the most visible damages that are a constant irritant for the homeowner. These include slopes of the floor cracks in the foundation, tile cracks, sheetrock cracks, tape pulls and jammed doors.
Elevation Survey Analysis
The elevation survey analysis documents the distortion of the foundation. This information when combined with the interior and exterior damages tells the story of what is happening to the foundation.
AutoCad Foundation Contour Mapping
This is a visual summary of the distortion of the foundation in an easy to read format. Instead of having to digest multiple elevation measurements the contour lines connect points of equal elevation that provides a graphic representation of the distortion of the foundation.
Forensic analysis is a more detailed examination of foundation problems that may involve additional testing and analysis of soil and structural elements that is not done in a standard foundation report. The object is to collect evidence for presentation in court to establish claims for warranty and insurance claims settlement. Professional Engineer Reports that answer the questions:
What is wrong? Why it’s wrong? What needs to be done?
The combination of visual exterior and interior inspections, elevation survey analysis combined with an in depth knowledge of the distorting effects of soil provide the answers to the cause and effect relationship of structural damage. This knowledge points the way to resolving the structural damage issues.
Structural damage is a common source of disputes between homeowners and contractors. No matter how minor or extreme the damage the common defense of contractors is that this is normal. An engineer report that identifies the damage, why the damage happened and the method of correcting the damage provides a logical path to resolving disputes.
Retaining Wall Design
Retaining walls are commonly erected to support structures and provide landscaping improvements. In spite of the crucial support they are to provide for structures proper engineering of the support capability of the retaining walls is seldom done.
Swimming Pool Structure
Swimming pools without pier support and high strength shells are subject to cracking, and going out of level. If it is worth building a pool for enjoyment it is worthwhile to insure that the expenditure on the swimming pool is best protected by adequate strength and support.
Control of moisture is vitally important to the stability of houses, retaining walls and all other structures built on clay soil. Having a house lot that is dry and free of ponded water is essential to the enjoyment of your property. Drainage design will identify the sources of water and the methods that can be employed to dispose of the water.
The mechanical characteristics of the foundation soil are essential to the support of your home. Soil testing results are required for the design of the popular post tensioned reinforced foundations. Failure to properly account for the variable strength characteristics of soil results in foundation problems that are costly to resolve.
Renovations and home improvements often result in a need to change the original structure. This is most commonly encountered in the removal of a load bearing wall to enlarge a living area. Replacement of the wall with a structural beam is the most common way to insure the structural integrity of the home. Inadequate strength of the original structure is commonly the result of an overly optimistic design or the use of structural members that are not strong enough to support the loads they are subjected to. Reinforcement or replacement is necessary to preserve the structural integrity of the home.
The most important element of your home is the foundation. Unfortunately it is the often the one element that receives the least attention; because it is the least visible of portion of the home. As one client said “Money that is taken out of the foundation can be put into door knobs”. Proper foundation design requires assessment of the lot, the foundation soils and the architecture of the house. Foundations need to be strong and either supported on a stable geological formation or isolated from the effects of expansive soil.Once the lot and geology are defined a choice can be made between the types of foundations available to meet the client’s objectives for foundation stability. The choices of foundation are:
- Pier and beam
- Suspended slab
- Slab on grade (with piers and void boxes)
- Slab on grade
The slab on grade foundations can be either reinforced concrete with rebar or post tensioned reinforcement.