Friday, October 8, 2010

DIY Home Inspection - how to identify and control the problem of the Foundation

The foundation walls are connected to the top of the foundation. The purpose of a foundation to support the weight of the structure of the house to be down by the Foundation for the foundation.

Regardless of their construction (cement, bricks, cement blocks, etc.), foundation walls crack, due to lateral force, settling, heaving or uneven load (more weight than designed on a specific part of the foundation) of the foundation walls . natural forces such as earthtremors could also assist in earthquake regions.

To begin your control by using a pad and pencil for the foundation exterior. Take notes of cracks and their locations. When inside the lower level, you want to try to get back to it on the inside. If the crack goes completely through the foundation can be a red flag. Small holes that pass through the back wall are common and nothing to worry about, these can be caused by the withdrawal ofthe concrete or mortar joints.

A crack has sometimes found a similar type of crack on a wall opposite of the foundation. Similar cracks on opposite walls may have the same cause, except the horizontal cracking caused by a lateral force.

Types of Cracking
Vertical and 45 degrees Cracking is usually caused by settlement and heaving. Horizontal cracking is usually caused by lateral pressure on the foundation, as the hydrostatic pressure (lateral force).Cracks, not entirely through the wall and no signs of repression are not normally a structural defect. Isolated vertical slits not extending beyond the lower edge of the foundation wall are usually cracks. They are caused by the contraction of concrete during curing.

Causes of Cracking horizontal
The foundation should act as a retaining wall, resistance to lateral pressure of soil on the outside of the basement or crawlspace. If the foundation is not enough lateral support, the walls to bend inwards and create horizontal crack. Some of the causes of foundation walls that are too thin or not (or not enough), increasing as a reinforcement in the concrete foundation, filling the bases too quickly before the foundation of healing has a chance to complete or backward during filling and large stones or lumps of frozen soil has been dumped at the Foundation.

Causes ofDein Ende Foundations
Dein Ende cracks in the foundations of brick, block or stone (not concrete), usually in the form of cracking a step called "step." Get cracking usually follow the mortar joints in these materials.

In concrete foundations, the tears are on the rise generally vertical and are wider at the top of the slot at the base.

Some parts of the country have vast lands, which increase in size as they absorb water, thus increasingcracks. Humidity added a vast land area, for example by a sudden descent, will dramatically change the volume of soil and cause serious problems panting and structural damage in some cases. Upon exhaustion of the vast land, can also lead to an effect of contraction pulling on the foundation. The method of prevention is to maintain soil moisture, keeping the soil as dry as possible by the Foundation. This can be achieved by proper grading around the perimeter.

CauseLiquidation of the Foundation
Settlement of the soil under the foundation is usually the cause of cracks in the walls of the foundation settlement. Cracks caused by settling cracks appear due to rolling, with the exception of the crack is wider at the bottom of the crack.

If a crack is active crack can still move (increasing, etc.) to identify an active crack, sharp edges, clean the inside of the crack, sometimes with pieces of concrete still the gap. Old cracksall dust, dirt, paint and insect parts in the slot.

To determine the severity of a failure or its cause, can be evaluated by a geotechnical engineer. Large cracks 3 / 8 "in width must be carefully studied. Cracks can be measured by the engineer, to determine whether it is moving or if it is stable. Many times, home inspectors use the services of an engineer, to ensure the foundation is the sound. as a former home inspector, I have often surprised to find cracks questionablewere sound without a worry. I've always been glad that was reviewed in the interest of the client or in your case.

What to look inside the structure of the house:

Doors and windows are locked and the displacement (gaps)
Foundation settlement can lead to doors and windows are aligned. This can be seen by looking at the edges of windows or doors, close them. For larger holes on one side than the other. This can help determine where the settlement isoccur.

Cracks in walls
Settlement will usually cause wall cracks. Settlement cracks are larger on one side than the other. Suitable wall cracking can also be caused by the expanding and contracting house through its seasons. If there is no evidence of defects in the foundation of the wall and there is no fracture, probably caused by the latter.

Slope or grade levels.
I learned during my career that most home inspectionpeople do not realize slope less than 1 / 8 "per foot plants. 3 / 16" per foot of plant is obvious to most people. A family lives in a bigger house for a long period may not even notice severe acute. We tend to adapt to gradually decline over time.

If in doubt, use a level to determine if the surface is flat. Increase floor should be recorded for future reference in the control.

Unless the renewal is expected to substantially tilted or extended, would be the best repairto stabilize the foundations. King extended leveling an old house can be more than expected damage to interior walls, ceilings, doors, windows and cabinets.

If the property is stabilized and the future movement is unlikely, buyers often agree to uneven floors.

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