A structural inspection may be needed for various different reasons. Ultimately, the purpose is to validate how structurally sound a property is. This is performed by a structural engineer who provides a thorough and comprehensive report on the condition and structural integrity of a home or building. The report also may include changes that might need to be performed to repair the structure of the property. It is said that a structural inspection may only be needed by property owners once or twice in a lifetime, but when that time comes, you want to make sure you find a qualified and reputable structural engineer.
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There are a number of issues that can come to light during a structural inspection. Here are some of the common flags you may see during an inspection.
Damage To The Foundation
In order for a property to be structurally stable, a solid foundation is necessary. Structural weakness can be very dangerous. Oftentimes problems with the foundation can be due to drainage issues.
A shifting roof can also compromise the structure of a property. Roofs that are not properly installed can sag on the ends or in the center over time. These types of repairs can be expensive and labor-intensive but very necessary.
Termite infestation can most certainly affect the integrity of a property’s structure. Structural engineers can assess the extent of the damage.
Brickwork or masonry can be severely damaged by water, age, or the elements. This is something to be taken very seriously.
Differences in general and structural inspections
A structural inspection can be classified into two types: general structural inspection or particular structural inspection. A particular structural inspection is usually done by a qualified engineer who is an affiliate of the Institution of Structural Engineering or the Institution of Civil Engineers (IStructE or ICE respectively). General structural inspections focus on general areas such as the floors, walls, roofs, and other structural elements. This inspection is more common for potential purchasers who wish to fully renovate their properties.
When am I going to need a structural inspection?
You will surely benefit from a structural inspection if you intend to make any changes to your property that will include modifying its foundation.
Anything from re-roofing to chimney demolition to demolishing interior walls most certainly should be subject to structural review. In certain cases, a structural inspection will be required to conform to the construction codes. In this event, the contractor or the architect will usually let you know.
It is also important to conduct a structural examination if there is a particular concern you find with the construction of your building, for example, if you encounter any gaps occurring near a window in the building. This is certainly a case where you would want to schedule a structural inspection for the property.
Also, a structural inspection might be needed in the event that your property is affected by flooding, fire, or deterioration. Usually, this is something that your insurance company may require to ensure that the repairs are done to satisfaction.
How should I prepare for a structural inspection?
Property owners should prepare for a structural inspection by ensuring that the property is ready for the inspector. This involves clearing any soil or debris that could obscure the base.
It also involves chopping down root growth near the property, digging out gutters, fixing cosmetic defects, and removing grass and debris from areas near the foundation of the property. For homeowners, they can also patch any small plumbing leaks and clear the crawling room and loft to make it easier for the inspector to do their job.
In summary, doing everything possible to make it convenient and easy for the engineer to access different areas of the property is a great way to prepare for the inspection.
What happens when a structural engineer has bad news?
It can be scary when a structural inspection results in flags and concerns. However, there are solution options depending on the severity of the issues. If the inspection was performed as a requirement to purchase the property, there are negotiations for repair that can be included in the contract. Otherwise, you should find a trusted construction company to assist with the repairs. Here at G. Batista Engineering and Construction, we are able to perform both the engineering and construction in-house under one roof. So besides presenting the problem, we can also present a solution if it is covered by our construction side of the business.
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Inspections are essential for the construction of any type of property. We offer different types of inspections. Call us and get a quote (954) 434-2053