What to Expect During a Home Foundation Inspection: A Step-by-Step Guide

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    Scheduling home foundation inspections is one of the best decisions you can make as a homeowner. Your entire home relies on the foundation, and keeping it in good condition prevents structural instability, pest infestations, and health issues like mold and mildew.

    The best foundation repair companies offer free professional foundation inspection and estimate. So, there’s no excuse to have your home’s foundation inspected.

    But what exactly happens during the foundation inspection? Don’t worry! This comprehensive guide will help you understand the critical foundation inspection process.

    What is a Home Foundation Inspection?

    A foundation inspection is a thorough evaluation of a house’s foundation by a foundation repair specialist. They look at how strong the foundation is, check for any problems or wear and tear, and decide if any fixes or upkeep are necessary to ensure it’s sturdy and safe to live in. Since they know what to search for, they can identify issues that homeowners might miss.

    Not all foundation issues are immediately obvious. Some signs that your home needs foundation inspection may seem minor but could indicate more significant problems. They will catch problems early to prevent them from worsening, prevent expensive damage, and ensure your property stays safe and structurally sound for the long run.

    Getting your foundation checked is important to provide peace of mind. Knowing you’re living in a home with a solid foundation lets you focus on other aspects of homeownership without worrying about unexpected structural issues.

    When to Get a Foundation Inspection?

    There are numerous signs that your foundation might be compromised. If you observe any of the following signs, it’s important to arrange for a home inspection:

    • Cracks: If you see cracks in your foundation walls, basement floors, crawl spaces, or even interior walls around doorways and windows, be aware! While hairline cracks might normally settle, larger ones (wider than ¼ inch) or diagonal cracks warrant a professional inspection.
    • Uneven Floors: If your floors slope noticeably in one direction, bounce, or sag, it could be a sign of trouble. You can also conduct a simple test: place a smooth ball on the floor. If it starts rolling on its own, your floors are likely uneven, which is a common sign of foundation issues.
    • Door and Window Issues: If your doors and windows suddenly stick, shut, or seem difficult to open or close properly, it could be because foundation movement is causing the frames to shift.
    • Water Damage: If you see signs of water damage around your foundation, like puddles or damp spots, it indicates problems with drainage or leaks that could be affecting the foundation.
    • Gaps between Floors and Walls: If gaps between floor and wall or around pipes enter the house. These gaps can allow water infiltration and contribute to foundation problems.
    • Bowing or Leaning Walls: If the walls of your foundation are bowing or leaning inwards, it means your home’s structure is in danger and requires immediate professional attention.
    • Mold or Mildew Growth: Mold and mildew growth in your basement or crawl space can indicate moisture problems that could affect the foundation.

    If you see these signs, you should contact a foundation repair company immediately. It’s also wise to have an inspection before purchasing a new home or after a significant event like an earthquake or flood. Regular inspections can help detect issues early, saving you time and money in the long run.

    What Does a Foundation Inspection Consist Of?

    Knowing the steps involved in a professional home foundation inspection process can ease your concerns. 

    Here at LUX Foundation Solutions, our team is an expert on how to inspect a foundation.  Our thorough inspection involves examining your home’s interior and exterior to identify potential issues affecting its stability and longevity. Here’s our comprehensive inspection includes:

    #1 Checking the Perimeter

    A foundation inspector measuring the exterior foundation crack.

    Our inspectors will look for the entire house:

    • Wall gaps that may show structural degradation or let in water or pests.
    • Any types of foundation cracks like vertical cracks or horizontal cracks.

    A proper drainage system is essential for foundation health. We will examine the soil to see if it’s overloaded with moisture and exerts hydrostatic pressure. They will also inspect foundation walls end to end for signs of bulging or bowing.

    #2 Monitoring Overgrowth

    Our licensed foundation inspectors will assess the level of:

    • Plants
    • Brush
    • Trees on or near your property.

    They may recommend trimming back or removing growth next to the home to prevent:

    • Rodents from using it as an entry method
    • Tree roots intruding too close to your foundation walls, causing pressure

    #3 Searching for Interior Cracks

    A qualified inspector examines a home’s foundation for interior cracks during a foundation inspection.

    We will check walls, ceilings, and floors in the upper levels for cracking. They’ll also examine lower levels of the home for foundation cracks and any signs of moisture entry. Even the slightest amount of moisture in a small crack can breed mold and mildew to cause health problems.

    #4 Smell Test

    Living in space day-to-day can get an inhabitant used to odors that visitors can notice. We will quickly pick up on musty smells that can indicate or lead to foundation issues, and they’ll have expert advice on tackling the problem.

    #5 Crawl Space Assessment

    Foundation inspector checking the crawl space for moisture and pest problems.

    A home inspector will enter the crawl space (if the house has a crawl space) to check the pier and beam foundations and look for further signs of:

    We may recommend installing a vapor barrier or another form of sealant to protect you and your home from dangerous risks.

    #6 Examining Joists and Beams

    These essential supports may show signs of water damage, rot, or insect attack. We will inspect for uneven floors, a classic sign of a struggling foundation. Foundation maintenance experts will advise on the right way to repair these issues for serious damage before they further compromise structural integrity.

    #7 Looking for Further Signs of Foundation Settlement

    Soil shifting, weather, the passage of time, and poor construction can all speed up a home’s foundation sinking. We will test the function of doors and windows to confirm that they open and close smoothly. Stubborn function is sometimes an indication of a foundation sink.

    #8 Inspection Report and Repair Recommendations

    Following the comprehensive inspection, we’ll provide a detailed report outlining any foundation issues found. This report clearly explains the problems, our recommended repair solutions, and a comprehensive repair estimate. 

    Depending on your foundation’s needs, solutions may involve:

    The report will also clarify permitting requirements and advise if a structural engineer’s involvement is necessary.

    Who Should Perform Foundation Inspections?

    You should choose a company with:

    • Skilled foundation repair experts who specialize in residential foundation inspections.
    • Proper certifications, years of experience, and positive reviews.

    These specialists can identify common foundation issues and assess if repairs are necessary. For instance, some signs of foundation settling are considered “uniform settlement.” This slight movement typically happens in the early years of a home being built. If a specialist finds your home is experiencing normal settling, they will inform you.

    Here are some additional factors to consider when choosing a company:

    • Local: Pick a nearby licensed foundation repair company that understands the rules for building codes in your area and has worked on many different types of foundations.
    • Communication: It’s crucial that the company communicates with you and explains how it works so you understand what’s going on.

    How Much Does a Home Foundation Inspection Cost?

    At LUX Foundation Solutions, we believe in transparency and upfront communication. That’s why we offer homeowners free foundation inspections and repair cost estimates. Our inspectors will thoroughly assess your home’s foundation and provide a detailed report outlining any issues they find.

    We understand some homeowners might be concerned about being pressured into unnecessary repairs. Here at LUX, that’s different from how we operate. Our priority is your home’s safety and stability, not a quick sale.

    If our inspection reveals minor problems that you can easily fix yourself, we’ll tell you straight up. We won’t sugarcoat the findings to generate repair work.

    A satisfied customer with his foundation inspection review.

    Contact LUX for Experts Home Foundation Inspection Now!

    Maintaining a healthy foundation is crucial for the longevity and safety of your home. If it’s been a while since your last foundation inspection or you’ve noticed any warning signs, now is the time to take action.

    At LUX Foundation Solutions, we have over 50 years of combined experience diagnosing and repairing foundation problems in Northern Virginia, Shenandoah Valley, North Central Virginia, and West Virginia. Our team of foundation repair specialists how inspects foundation meticulously to identify even the most subtle signs of trouble.

    We use proven techniques and back our work with a lifetime transferable warranty (if applicable). Schedule your free foundation inspection today!

    Don’t wait for a minor problem to become a crisis. Call us at 540-508-8587 or complete the online form to schedule a free foundation inspection.

    Commonly Asked Questions

    How long does a foundation inspection take?

    A typical residential foundation inspection by LUX Foundation Solutions usually takes one to two hours, but the duration can vary depending on the size and condition of your home. 

    Our certified inspectors thoroughly examine all aspects of the foundation to ensure a comprehensive assessment. Contact our team today for a detailed evaluation and timely inspection.

    Do you offer financing options for foundation repairs?

    Yes, we understand that foundation repairs can be a significant investment, so we offer flexible financing options. We partner with trusted financial institutions to provide affordable payment plans, ensuring you can get the necessary repairs without delay.

    Our team will guide you through the terms, ensuring informed decisions. Contact us today for more information about our financing options.

    How often should I get a home foundation inspection?

    We recommend scheduling a residential foundation inspection annually, especially if you live in an area prone to soil movement or extreme weather conditions. 

    Regular inspections help catch potential issues early, saving you from expensive repairs down the road. Contact LUX Foundation Solutions today to schedule your annual inspection and ensure your home’s stability.

    What should I do if I find cracks in my foundation?

    If you notice cracks in your foundation, a professional must inspect them promptly to save your home’s structural integrity. Small cracks can indicate underlying structural issues that may worsen over time. 

    LUX offers expert evaluation and repair solutions tailored to your foundation needs. Call us now to schedule a free inspection and prevent further damage.

    Can foundation issues affect my home’s resale value?

    Yes, foundation problems can significantly impact your home’s resale value. Potential buyers are often wary of properties with foundation issues due to concerns about structural integrity and potential repair costs. 

    Inspecting your foundation and necessary repairs ensures your home maintains its market value and appeal. Contact us today to protect your investment and secure a strong resale value.

    Can I perform a DIY foundation inspection?

    While you may be handy around the house, a DIY foundation inspection isn’t advisable. Here’s why:
    Untrained Eye: An experienced inspector knows exactly what to look for, including subtle signs of trouble that a layperson might miss.
    Safety Concerns: Foundations are crucial structural components, and potential problems can pose safety hazards. A professional can assess the severity of any issues and recommend the best course of action.
    Detailed Report: A qualified inspector will provide a comprehensive report outlining their findings, including photos and repair recommendations. This documentation is invaluable if repairs are needed.
    Having a professional inspect your foundation is the best approach for peace of mind and a thorough assessment.

    Are foundation inspections worth it?

    Yes, foundation inspections are a wise investment for your home’s well-being. They provide peace of mind by uncovering potential problems early, saving you money on future repairs. Early detection allows for preventative maintenance, keeping minor issues from becoming major ones.

    If you’re concerned about your foundation, don’t hesitate to contact LUX for a thorough and professional inspection. Our experts are here to help you safeguard your home.

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