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Inspecting The Foundation Of A Home

Todays Date: September 19, 2018

When you hire a home inspector to inspect a home you are buying one of the things he will be inspecting is the homes foundation. Here is an overview of what the inspector will be looking for.

Initially, the inspector will need to find out what type of foundation the home has. There are three different types of foundations – basement, crawl space, and concrete slab. The foundations are different and each are inspected differently.

When inspecting the basement, the inspector is limited in what can be inspected depending on if the basement has been finished. One of the main things the inspector is looking for is moisture intrusion from the ground. Evidence of moisture would be visible in the form of staining on the concrete or carpet and cupping or curling of the hardwood flooring.

There are other items the inspector will examine while in the basement. These items include any exposed wood framing, electrical components, plumbing pipes and fixtures, and any systems like the water heater or the heating and cooling system if present.

If there is at least 18 inches of headroom, the inspector will evaluate the crawl space. If for some reason, such as height restrictions, the inspector can not access all or part of the crawl space it will be noted in the inspection report.

The home inspector will be looking at several things while under the house. The main thing the inspector is trying to determine is if there is moisture present and is there any damage to the support system and floor structure. Some of the items the inspector will look at include: the piers, floor joists, outside sill plate, foundation wall, and any other items present like the plumbing, ductwork, and insulation.

If the home has a concrete slab the inspector will be limited in what can be inspected if the flooring has been installed. But there are still some signs that problems may exist. Much like the basement is staining visible on the concrete or carpeting or is the hardwood cupping or curling at the seams. On the outside, the inspector will look to see if the slab is cracked and is the ground graded away from the foundation.

In Closing

Homes are built based on the grade of the land. It is not uncommon for homes to have two and sometimes all 3 foundation types as part of the construction. When you hire your inspector, give them as much information as possible about the foundation.

Hubert Miles is the founder of Waterfront Houses USA, an online marketing service that provides Lake Real Estate in the US and Canada.

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