Foundation repair can be a confusing enigma. You often get totally different approaches that arrive very different solutions!
How do you figure out what foundation inspection method is the best method?
Thankfully, there is a professional consensus. The Foundation Performance Association (FPA) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (Texas Chapter) have both published a consensus document that identifies a level “B” investigation.
Below are items that should be accounted for in your home’s evaluation:
- Determine from as many sources as possible what the soil layer compositions and properties are
- Gather and understand long term precipitation and its effect on soils at that location
- Use of Aerial and site photography to understand, drainage, landscaping (trees vs grass), sunshine vs shade etc, and how they affect the various areas around the house Including any known history of damages, and or repairs to plumbing.
- Understand the original topography and modifications to the soil before house was built (and after)
- A complete understanding of the structural systems and load paths of a home including truss systems vs non truss systems, interior load bearing walls, post tension vs conventional vs pier and beam systems and how they interact with various soil conditions.
- Age of the structure and its effect on moisture migration under the foundation
- Complete floor plan drawn to scale
- Complete floor level survey with topological mapping and an understanding of topological patterns and their interpretations
- A complete Damage Map overlaid with the topological map to understand how the damage relates to the observed elevations. Extensive experience understanding nuanced damages and their varied interpretation with even the similar symptoms including surrounding infrastructure
- A complete tilt and deflection analysis with Engineering consensus allowables
- Written observations and recommendations supported by the data gathered.
- Complete repair plan with specifications and placement of various recommended elements
- Included are guttering and drainage improvement plans and specifications and placement of those elements.
- Pictures with a photo numbering plan that corresponds to a floor plan numbering
- Peer review to check assumptions and that conclusions are supported by the data
- Entire report sealed by a licensed, professional engineer
If you are not getting all of these items included with your foundation assessment, then you will not likely have repairs that are designed to remediate the specific soil problems that are affecting your home’s performance. What you will get instead is a series of sophistry arguments as to why this is not necessary.
Know that in the end it is really because they do not have the skill or the will to provide these required items.
Fortunately, we do.