Identifying the Cause of Cosmetic Damage
Forensic Assessment to Determine Cause
A basic foundation inspection can usually identify if there has been foundation movement, which is a very important step when identifying the cause of most common cosmetic damage complains from homeowners and property owners. It is then essential to understand the potential causes of the movement before a foundation repair plan is created in order to attempt to remedy the cause of the movement. That’s what forensic engineers do. We look beyond what IS wrong and attempt to find out the potential reasons WHY the damage has occurred.
If you fix the foundation without correcting the original cause, it may recur in the future. Sometimes, the cause cannot be remediated and the repair is the solution. Most foundation repair contractors don’t have the training in engineering to perform a forensic assessment of a foundation. Always hire a structural engineer to determine the probable cause of your foundation movement.
These are some of the most common causes of foundation movement in our area of Texas:
- Contraction of soils due to dry conditions.
- Expansion of soils due to poor drainage and/or guttering
- Consolidation of fill soil
- Expansion of soils due to tree removal (soil rehydration)
- Plumbing Leaks
- Previous foundation repairs
- Poor foundation design or construction
- Hydrological Issues (home built upon a spring or an underground stream)
- Excessive drying of perimeter soils
- Irrigation Leaks
By identifying what caused the movement or damage to the foundation, the root cause can potentially be addressed in the foundation repair plan.
Forensic Engineering – Independent Foundation Evaluation
Why Choose a Forensic Engineer for Foundation Assessment?
The cause of damages to your home can be singular or a combination of problems that have contributed to the movement of your foundation. A structural engineer has the forensic training necessary to examine all possible contributors to movement in your foundation. This is true both with concrete slab foundations and pier and beam foundations.
A forensic engineer from Crosstown Engineering may use a variety of tools and methods in seeking to determine the underlying causes of your foundation movement. The following is a list of just some of the forensic methods used by Crosstown Engineering:
Cosmetic Damage Forensic Analysis
- Visual examination of pier and beam foundation by crawling the entire crawlspace.
- Visual examination of the patterns of damage (damage forensics)
- Use of a manometer to determine elevation variations.
- Check for grading and drainage issues around the structure.
- Review of the roof guttering system.
- Identify possible tree impacts on the foundation.
- Observe the terrain and lot orientation relative to its surroundings
Crosstown Engineering’s forensic engineer will provide a foundation inspection report detailing our findings. The report will include discussion of the damages, the potential contributors to the damages and an engineered foundation repair plan, if one is necessary. The foundation repair plan will address remediation recommendations for correcting the underlying cause of the damage, as well as stabilization and repairs to the foundation.
Don’t hesitate to request a forensic assessment of your foundation damage.
Foundation Repair Plan
Crosstown Engineering – Experts in Foundation Repair Plans
When a structural engineer from Crosstown Engineering prepares your foundation repair plan, you can rest assured that all issues have been addressed. We will take into account the differences in cost between viable solutions for your foundation problem. Our goal is always to provide the property owner with enough information to make an informed decision when selecting a foundation repair plan.
In addition to the information provided in our foundation repair plans, Crosstown Engineering can recommend reputable foundation repair contractors to perform the work. We do not do foundation repair work ourselves, and we don’t receive commission from the contractors we refer. You can trust us to provide you with an unbiased inspection report and repair recommendations.
Our Forensic Engineering Services
Structural Forensic Services by Crosstown Engineering
Foundations aren’t the only type of forensic engineering services we offer. We can also provide forensic evaluations of other types of damage to your home. Some of the more common forensic evaluations we perform are:
- Water Intrusion – Determine the location and source of the intrusion and how to remediate it.
- Roof damage – Determine if the cause is hail, wind or something else.
- Siding damage – Determine if hail or winds caused the damage.
- Attic damage – Determine if the attic structure is in need of repair or ventilation.
- Cosmetic storm damage – Determine the cause of cosmetic damages to exterior areas of the home.
An independent evaluation and opinion by a forensic engineer can be a helpful resource when filing insurance claims.
Crosstown Engineering – Forensic Engineering Experts
Foundation Damage Detection & Repair Plan
Forensic science is all about research performed by experts in a given field to determine the cause of damage. In the world of construction, structural engineers are your forensic experts. Don’t settle for an inadequate repair that doesn’t address the true cause of your foundation movement or damage.
Call us at Crosstown Engineering to schedule your next forensic inspection for any foundation or storm damage to your home.