The cost of repairing a damaged foundation can be high. Therefore, it is not uncommon for homeowners to opt for cheaper solutions to restore their houses. Unfortunately, this action can be detrimental. If the foundation is not thoroughly restored, the problem will recur. In some cases, the damage will worsen due to the structural disturbance during the initial repair process.
You can prevent the recurrence of your foundation problems by conducting structural inspections. Under ideal circumstances, a structural engineer should check your house before commissioning repair and restoration for optimal results. Here are essential guidelines to take into account when inspecting your home foundation before conducting repairs.
Evaluate the Original Structural Design
You should check the original home design documents, including the floor plans and site information. The information is essential for identifying significant changes in the house due to the damage in the foundation. You should record all structural changes or shifts which might have occurred as a result of foundation deterioration. The site information is essential for determining the potential causes of the foundation damage. If there are unfavourable factors on your residential lot, you will need to make corrections to guarantee long-term restoration of your home.
Check the Foundation Damage
It is crucial for an experienced engineer or contractor to inspect the house and analyse the level of damage. You should know the specific type of deterioration and the areas which are affected. These details will help you in choosing a method for repair. For instance, if foundation is damaged but the other structural elements of your building are in good condition, you will only need to do some underpinning for complete restoration. The base of your home will be restored, stabilising the structure. If other areas such as structural walls are damaged, you will need to plan for additional repairs. Demolition might also be the best option if the entire house is compromised.
Conduct a Foundation Elevation Survey
You should conduct an elevation survey for your foundation before commencing the repair work. The information acquired will be critical in determining the risk for future damage after repair. For instance, if your house is on low land and the foundation is not sufficiently elevated, there will be significant risk of foundation damage due to moisture accumulation during wet seasons. Foundation elevation survey can also be useful in determining whether the building is settling into the soil. If this is the case, you will need to discuss the best restorative measures with your construction engineer.