The foundation of any building rests on a bed of soil that is often subject to shrinkage. This can lead to the foundation settling, which in turn causes cracks and other structural problems.
The best way to protect any building is to treat minor foundation issues as a warning sign – and call for a foundation inspection. Cracks in a pier and beam foundation or cracks in brick, mortar, tile, or sheetrock may only be signs of normal settling, but only a professional foundation engineer can make that determination.
It’s important to have a foundation engineer do a proper inspection of your building’s foundation to identify any damage and help assess proper action to take, if any, in preventing future damage.
What is a Foundation Engineer?
A foundation engineer is someone who inspects foundations for cracks, settling, creep, or sliding. Foundations engineers are tasked with the responsibility of inspecting the building’s foundations for any signs of instability. The inspection is done visually and is typically followed by geotechnical testing.
How Does a Foundation Engineer Inspect the Building’s Foundations?
A foundation engineer performs a visual foundation inspection of the building’s foundation looking for signs of damage and strain. If any of these signs are found, or the engineer feels it is necessary, then they will continue on to the geotechnical stage which involves testing the soil/soil conditions and setting up a monitoring system to keep an eye out for any settling that is occurring.
Why Is It Important to Have an Inspection Done by a Professional?
It’s important to have an inspection done by a professional because they can find any issues that you may not be able to see on your own. Having the engineers there also helps save time and money since they have the equipment to identify problems that are hidden deep within the ground.
The Risks of Not Having an Inspection Done
Being able to inspect the building’s foundations is important because it allows engineers to find anything that may be causing instability. This can keep a building from moving and cracking, which could make it unsafe to use or inhabit in the long run. By not getting an inspection done, there is a chance that damage that would have been fixed could get worse, and end up being more expensive to fix. The risks of not having an inspection done include the building not being able to support its own weight, not being able to properly function or stay standing.
What Does a Foundation Engineer Do When They Find Settlement in a Building?
If an engineer finds that the building is sinking, then they will look into what caused this movement and make recommendations on how to fix it before it gets worse. The foundation engineer will prepare their inspection report and advise the home/building owner on a repair plan. The repair plan can then be executed by a qualified contractor.
Foundation engineers are tasked with the responsibility of inspecting the building’s foundations for any signs of instability. The inspection is done visually and is typically followed by geotechnical testing. If any of these signs are found, then they will continue on to the geotechnical stage which involves testing soil/soil conditions and setting up a monitoring system to keep an eye out for any settling that may occur. This process can help save time and money since it identifies problems that would otherwise be hidden deep within the ground.
It’s important to have this type of inspection done because not doing so could cause more damage than necessary in both residential and commercial buildings or structures. If you are in need of a foundation inspection, contact Independent Foundation Engineers, serving Plano and neighboring areas.